Turkey Seeks to Deepen Relations with Nigeria in Energy, Education – Envoy

Turkey is seeking to deepen relations with Nigeria in the areas of energy, education and culture, an official of the Turkish embassy, Mr Tunç Tekoğlu, has said.

Tekoğlu, who is Secretary to the Ambassador of Turkey to Nigeria, Hakan Cakil, said in Abuja, on Thursday.

He said that efforts were being made to encourage Turkish businessmen to invest in Nigeria to strengthen economic partnership and growth.

“Turkey is working on diversifying its sources of natural gas and Nigeria happens to be Turkey’s major supplier of liquefied natural gas.

“This alone creates a strong bond between both countries.”

“Our embassy is trying to encourage Turkish businessmen to invest in Nigeria.

“We see Nigeria as a country with many economic opportunities and it is definitely a good business environment for Turkish entrepreneurs.

Tekoğlu said that Turkey was also working on improving education and promoting cultural relationship with Nigeria.

“We believe that strengthening the cultural relationship of both countries is important so we are using higher education as a tool for achieving this goal especially as students are great assets to introducing cultures to communities.

“In Turkey we have over 3000 Nigerian students studying in our universities so we believe that when they go back home they would share positive views of Turkey which will contribute to strengthening our relationship.

“In 2016, Turkey provided 29 scholarships for Nigerian students to study in Turkey and this year we are hoping to double that number.

“Although the Turkish schools and hospitals you find around Nigeria are not funded by the Turkish government and are privately owned by citizens of Turkey there is a Turkish institution called Maarif Vakfı which is supported by the Turkish minister of education.

“It aims at establishing Turkish schools abroad and around Africa to improve education and are looking forward to connecting with the Nigerian government for collaboration,” he said.

He added that Turkey supports Nigeria’s fight against terrorism.

“The struggle with insecurity is similar in both of our countries and Turkey strongly supports Nigeria’s fight against Boko-Haram.

“We stand with Nigeria in this because we understand the struggle as Turkey has had to deal with the fight against terrorism from ISIS and we know these two groups have a sort of affiliation.

“We are also really happy about the progress Nigeria has made with the fight against Boko-Haram terrorists so far.”