Your Excellency, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of the Republic of Turkey, our host, Chairman of D-8
Your Excellencies, Heads of State and Government of the D-8 Organization,
Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the D-8 Organization.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I bring greetings from the Government and people of Nigeria to you all, particularly to the Government and people of Turkey. Our profound appreciation to President Erdogan, the Government and people of Turkey for the warm hospitality accorded me and my delegation since our arrival.
I wish to express my sincere gratitude to Your Excellency, for your concern and sympathy during my recent health challenge from which I have recovered, not least because of your prayer and the prayers of many other well-wishers and sympathisers.
I want to seize the opportunity of my visit to Turkey, to once again condemn the forceful attempt, in July 2016, to overthrow the legitimate and democratically elected Government of Turkey. I also wish to once again express my sympathy and condolence to the families of those who lost their lives in the coup attempt, and salute the heroic response of the people of Turkey in defence of democracy and good governance. I will like to assure you that Nigeria will continue to stand side by side with all peace-loving people of Turkey and elsewhere, for the defence and promotion of democracy and people’s choice.
I pay tribute to Your Excellency, for the great strides Turkey has made in all domains in the last decade, under your inspirational leadership. I salute your courageous, principled and firm stand on many challenges we are confronting in the world today, particularly insecurity and catastrophic humanitarian situations.
Mr. President, it is a great pleasure for me to join you and other leaders for the 9th Summit of our great Organization holding in this historic city of Istanbul, where it all began 20 years ago. Let me congratulate Your Excellency, for hosting us today and for the 20th anniversary of this Organization. Nigeria remains committed to the principles and objectives that informed the establishment of this Organization in 1997, which is simply to provide better standards of living for our people.
I also wish to express my profound appreciation to the outgoing Chairman for presiding over the affairs of our Organization and for doing everything possible so that the Organization achieves its founding objectives and takes its rightful position among nations.
Let me seize this opportunity to commend Dr. Seyed Ali Mohammad Mousavi, the outgoing Secretary-General, for his commitment and strong resolve to forge ahead even in the face of serious challenges in discharging his responsibilities. Your wealth of diplomatic and administrative experience, as well as devotion to duty has greatly helped in the piloting of the affairs of the Secretariat. Nigeria will continue to support the Secretariat in its assignments.
Mr. Chairman, Nigeria is committed to, and is actively pursuing a policy of trade and investment facilitation for growth. The gains from trade are reflected in greater competitiveness, improved productivity, job creation, consumer welfare and prosperity.
Economies that grow fastest and at more sustainable rates are those that actively promote trade and attract investment. We are committed to creating an enabling environment and making Nigeria an attractive place for business and investment. I wish to reiterate the commitment we made in Abuja in July 2010 regarding the critical importance of the Private Sector in our economic policies.
Having identified Trade as the engine of economic growth and development, we must continue to enhance the enabling environment for it to thrive. It is in this light that I wish to appeal to Your Excellencies to encourage our respective Economic Agencies to be more active in participation at executive meetings organized by the Secretariat. I am pleased to inform you of positive market developments currently in Africa, that will support our efforts as Members of the D-8 to enlarge our markets, facilitate our trade and investments, and develop our economies.
In Africa, we are on the threshold of finalizing negotiations to establish the first ever Single Market for Trade in Goods and Services on our Continent, in the Continental Free Trade Area for Africa. This will be a win-win for all, including member countries of the D-8.
As partners, I urge that we work together to support this effort of the African Union that will have a positive effect on global economic development and integration. Nigeria remains committed to international trade and development. In this regard, Nigeria is ready to host the Meeting of our Ministers of Industry from 14th – 17th next month.
As the D-8, we need to intensify our activities with a view to enhancing various measures and incentives introduced to promote trade and assist the business communities from Member States to invest in our countries and widen our cooperation.
We need to work hard to establish integrated manufacturing structures and markets. I will like to reiterate the importance of increasing trade and investment between our Member States. We look forward to welcoming you all in Abuja next month.
Finally, Mr. President, Your Excellencies, let me also congratulate and welcome Ambassador Dato Ku Shaari of Malaysia as you assume office as the new Secretary-General of this Organization. I wish you the best of luck and I assure you of Nigeria’s support in discharge your responsibilities.
I thank you all.