By Nimot Adetola Sulaimon
President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan has called for more trade between African countries to further enhance their economic Independence as a continent.
Lawan made the call when the Namibian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr Humphry Desmond Geiseb paid him a courtesy visit on Wednesday in Abuja.
He said, “we need to increase our level of trade because this is what will make us more independent.
“Once we are able to achieve a reasonable level of economic independence we can take major decisions as a continent when it comes to bilateral and even multilateral issues.
“Africa is challenged in so many ways. Our development levels vary of course but what is required of us is to ensure that we trade more between our countries.
“The establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCTA) is a welcome idea to us in Africa.
“It expands the frontiers of trade and in fact investment in Africa and it is for African countries to now take the opportunity that will be made available by this Agreement.
“I believe that Nigeria has a lot of products to export to Namibia and I am happy to note that you export salt and other things to Nigeria,” Lawan said.
The Senate President recalled the major role played by Nigeria in Namibia’s struggle for independence saying that “we did that for some other countries especially in South Africa believing that any country in Africa that is not free should be the concern of each other’s country.”
Lawan also called for more parliamentary engagement and partnership between the Namibian and Nigerian parliaments.
Earlier, Mr Geish said the visit was to appraise the Senate President on the current relationship between Nigeria and Namibia, which he described as “cordial.”He said Namibia was also interested in the advances and innovations from Nigeria especially in the field of gender-based violence as well as the field of women empowerment and gender equality in governance.