The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, has called for stronger political and socio-economic ties between Nigeria and Sao Tome & Principe in the spirit of African brotherhood.
The Speaker spoke in Abuja on Friday when he received the President of the Parliament of Sao Tome and Principe, Hon. Delfim Santiago Das Neves, who paid him a courtesy call at the National Assembly.
While noting that the world has become a big village where countries must work together closely to harness their areas of common interests, he said both countries could partner in the areas of agriculture, tourism and commerce.
Gbajabiamila cited an example with the 9th Assembly, which he said had deliberately embarked on parliamentary diplomacy since 2019 to help build friendship between Nigeria and other countries, especially on the African continent.
He explained that such parliamentary friendship groups helped to resolve issues through legislative interventions and dialogues.
According to him, ”I am excited because this meeting will strengthen and deepen economic and socio-political ties between Nigeria and your country. Sao Tome and Principe is rich in agriculture and tourism. This is an area Nigeria can tap into. In our house here, we have, since 2019, embarked on parliamentary diplomacy. We have established friendship groups with many countries and I use this opportunity to invite Sao Tome and Principe to be part of this process.”
Speaking earlier, Das Neves said Nigeria and his country were one, as he recalled that the first settlers in Sao Tome and Principe actually came from Nigeria.
He called for improved relations between the two countries, which he said had not grown much in the last 10 years.
He also called for a partnership to promote free trade zones and the establishment of a joint maritime security force to protect people and goods on the Gulf of Guinea.
Das Neves further solicited Nigeria’s support for the upcoming general election in Sao Tome and Principe.