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Osinbajo seeks closer cooperation among developing countries

Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo says the current trend in the global economy, climate change and the Ukrainian conflict all present opportunities for closer ties among developing economies, especially in refocusing attention on trade and energy access for the benefit of the people.

A statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande said Professor Osinbajo made the remarks on Tuesday in Abuja when he received in audience the Nigerian-born Secretary General of the D-8 Organisation, Ambassador Isiaka Imam at the Presidential Villa.

Nigeria is a member of the D-8 – an organisation for development cooperation among 8 developing countries comprising Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Pakistan and Turkey.

“This is a very important time for member-countries to really focus on the critical issues – trade and energy,” according to the Vice-President.

But trade in particular, he said, “There is a need for greater trade engagements.”

He said Nigeria “offers great prospects for expanding trade among the D-8 members”, noting that “what we all really need to do is to look at how to use Nigeria as a point where you take off from to the AfCTA and some kind of entryway into the AfCTA.

“We think that Nigeria will be able to coordinate the trade routes and opportunities within the AfCTA. For instance, we are very prominent already in banking services all over Africa. I think that is one of the many important areas that we must look at.”

Professor Osinbajo also urged the D-8 to explore means of expanding trade routes, saying it was doable from the “perspective of financial services.

To make that happen, he advised, the D-8 Organisation should “build a payment system”.

“This is one of the areas you may be looking at, especially engaging Nigerian banks to see in which ways they can function within the AfCTA and all our partners and member countries of the D-8,” he said.

On Nigeria’s advocacy for a just transition to net zero, the VP urged the D-8 to join in the campaign, noting that “we are at a point where we are arguing about the role of gas in this whole transition to net zero.”

He queried proposals by the “wealthier countries” of the world for the Third World to “dispense with gas and use more of renewables”, pointing out that Developing countries, including Nigeria, were “pushing back and saying, we must continue to use gas”.

“Our advocacy in the area of energy access is an important consideration in the whole campaign towards net zero,” the VP declared.

Similarly, he called for more investments in fossil fuels, especially gas, and urged the D-8 to take up the matter.



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