President Muhammadu Buhari has underscored the need to enhance people-to-people relations between South Africa and Nigeria to avoid unhealthy competition.
The President spoke Wednesday while receiving President Cyril Ramaphosa, at the State House, Abuja.
Buhari, at the opening of the 10th Session of Nigeria-South Africa Bi-National Commission (BNC) held in his office, said such relations were necessary to evolve a bond that would be of benefit to both countries and the entire African continent.
He restated Nigeria’s commitment to improving a “special relationship’’ with South Africa, which will translate into gains for the continent, particularly in education, science, trade and investment, tourism and security.
He said: “Mr. President, permit me to state that some of the challenges identified during the last Bi-National Commission (BNC) have not been completely addressed. We need to ensure that our people-to-people relations are enhanced to a point where there would be no need for unhealthy competition.
“In this regard, we need improvement in educational and scientific cooperation, mines and energy resources, transport and aviation, tourism, youth exchange programmes, trade and investment and military cooperation, to mention but a few.”
Buhari, in a statement issued by his spokesman, Femi Adesina, told ministers and government delegates of both countries that a strong bond of brotherhood between Nigeria and South Africa would be of great benefit to Africa as a catalyst for economic, technological, social and cultural development and as a force for peace and security on the continent.