State Secretary Markus Ederer welcomed Paul Bulus Zom Lolo, the new State Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, to Berlin on 29 July for the third meeting of the working group on policy of the German-Nigerian Binational Commission. In addition to bilateral topics such as cooperation in the area of security, numerous global challenges were also on the agenda.
Binational Commission already in its fifth year
The German-Nigerian Binational Commission was set up back in 2011. It forms the umbrella of the two countries’ bilateral relations and aims to continuously intensify their cooperation on a range of topics. Nigeria reiterated its interest in maintaining a dialogue with Germany at the last meeting of the working group on policy held in Abuja in July 2014. In October 2014, the working groups business, energy/electricity and culture/migration elaborated specific proposals for future cooperation.
Cooperation in the area of security
Two months to the day since the new Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari took office, State Secretary Lolo gave a detailed account of the President’s governmental programme, which he said was focused on tackling terror and corruption. The two state secretaries discussed scope for cooperation in this area. Germany is already involved in a cooperation project with the Nigerian police and an additional project to improve small arms controls. An agreement was reached to work together to develop projects to combat extremist violence.
Global challenges also on the agenda
The fact that they are also discussing international issues is a testament to the high regard in which both sides now hold each other as political interlocutors. At this year’s meeting, the state secretaries turned their attention to topics such as the current situation in Ukraine and Syria. Their talks also touched on the agreement recently reached in the dispute over Iran’s nuclear programme. Germany and Nigeria will continue their close cooperation and the German-Nigerian Binational Commission will remain an important part of this also in the future.