Abu Dhabi, 27 July 2022 (TDI): The United Arab Emirates hosted the first UAE-Nigeria Joint Committee at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in Abu Dhabi on 26 July 2022.

The Minister of State of the UAE, Sheikh Shakhboot bin Nahyan Al Nahyan, and Ambassador Zubairu Dada, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs in Nigeria, co-chaired the meeting.

Moreover, a number of senior officials from the Government of Nigeria participated in the meeting, along with the Emirati delegation.  The delegation included senior officials representing various federal and local government entities, semi-governmental organizations, and private companies.

Throughout the meeting, the two sides discussed political and economic cooperation, highlighting the importance of establishing new channels of bilateral cooperation.

Both sides also stressed the opportunities for cooperation in the areas of trade and economy, SMEs, entrepreneurship, clean energy, technology, education, defense and security, finance and banking, customs, culture, youth and sports, and aviation.

The Minister of State of UAE, Sheikh Shakhboot commended the effectiveness of the Joint Committee in enhancing cooperation between the Emirati and Nigerian private and public sectors and encouraged participants to continue leveraging this platform.

Adding to this, the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs in Nigeria, Zubairu Dada highlighted Nigeria’s interest in further strengthening the bilateral relationship and growing cooperation between both countries.

In the end, both the sides signed Memoranda of Understanding, including an MoU for Cooperation in the Field of Culture & Youth and an MoU for Cooperation in the Field of Sport.

UAE-Nigeria Bilateral Relations:

When UAE established its embassy in Nigeria, both states had positive diplomatic relations, particularly in 2009.

Moreover, Abuja was followed by a visit to the UAE by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2016 as the first country to visit Asia and the Middle East upon his assumption of office as President of Nigeria.

By December 2020, a Memorandum of Understanding between Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates was executed to provide a platform for both countries to engage each other bilaterally in many areas – legal, commercial, etc.

Adding to this, in March 2021, the UAE declared Nigeria the largest economy in Africa as it commenced a series of trade and investment promotion activities aimed at bolstering the bilateral trade and investment volume between Nigeria and UAE.

Hence, UAE and Nigeria enjoy commendable bilateral relations since 2009 and hope to strengthen their social and economic relations in the future.