Nigeria and Ethiopia have signed a pact on visa waiver for diplomatic and official passport holders. They also agreed to relate mutually on defence matters. President Muhammadu Buhari and Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed witnessed the signing on Tuesday in Addis Ababa by their Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, and Gedu Andargachew. Both leaders had earlier discussed on new areas of collaboration to enhance existing ties between the two nations.
The Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President, Garba Shehu, in a statement yesterday in Abuja explained that the waiver is to ease official travels and strengthen bilateral relations. He noted that the defence cooperation was to engender coordinated efforts in the fight against terrorism and promote peace and stability in Africa.
West and East Africa regions in particular, and the continent in general. The memorandum of understanding (MoU) is also to enhance bilateral military exchanges in the areas of training and education, technical assistance, visits and technology transfer.
Not left of the calculation are peace support operation issues within the framework of the laws of the parties on a reciprocal basis. Both countries equally consented to swift conclusion of talks on their revised Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) and cultural cooperation.
The consummation of the agreements, it is believed in official quarters, would provide a veritable platform for deepening extant air transport services, tourism and cultural exchanges for the benefit of the two countries. According to Shehu, President Buhari expressed gratitude to the government and people of the Federal Republic of Ethiopia for the “warm and generous hospitality extended to him and his delegation during the visit.” “He further extended an invitation to Prime Minister Ahmed to pay a reciprocal state visit to Nigeria on mutually convenient dates,” the presidential spokesman added.