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Ramaphosa concludes 'excellent and successful' visit to Nigeria

01 December 2021 - 22:24
President Cyril Ramaphosa at the conclusion of his visit to Nigeria on Wednesday.
President Cyril Ramaphosa at the conclusion of his visit to Nigeria on Wednesday.
Image: Amanda Khoza

President Cyril Ramaphosa concluded his state visit to Nigeria on a high note, saying he believes that both states have “built a solid foundation” to navigate any future challenges.

Speaking at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja shortly before boarding a flight to Ivory Coast, Ramaphosa said SA had held a “really excellent and successful” visit to Nigeria.

“We have had extensive discussions with President [Muhammadu] Buhari on a one-to-one basis and reached a lot of areas of understanding and mutual agreements,” he said. 

Ramaphosa, who began his four-nation West Africa visit in Nigeria on Tuesday evening, lauded the ministers from both states, saying they had done a superb job in terms of negotiating the many agreements and memoranda of understanding.

“Some of the agreements are going to be finalised once we get home and get a cabinet minute. All together we had some 32 agreements with Nigeria and implementation is going to be monitored by President Buhari and myself,” he said.

Ramaphosa said both presidents would keep a close eye on the various outcomes of the meetings that took place.

“We are particularly pleased that Nigeria demonstrated its commitment in terms of receiving us even in the wake of Omicron and they were quite determined that this visit should take place even though on a scaled down basis but they did not want to dilute the main input of the visit,” he said.

Through the visit, Ramaphosa said: “SA has deepened and strengthened the relationship.” 

The visit had also impressed a lot of officials in government.

“They know that we have built a solid foundation to be able to have the opportunity of addressing the problems that were will always arise. We are the two big economies on the continent and there will always be challenges and problems at a people-to-people and business-to-business level, so with this visit we have built a solid foundation to be able to address the challenges that have come our way.”

SA President Cyril Ramaphosa and Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari during bilateral engagements on Wednesday.
SA President Cyril Ramaphosa and Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari during bilateral engagements on Wednesday.
Image: GCIS

Ramaphosa said he was delighted that the Nigerian government opens its doors even with the danger of the new variant. “I would like to say to the people here in Nigeria and also the people back in our country is that vaccination against this new variant is most important weapon that we have.” 

Ramaphosa said he left Nigeria “very pleased, full of smiles for our next destination”. 

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