President Muhammadu Buhari has called for stronger trade and economic relations between Nigeria and Italy.
This is contained in a statement issued by Garba Shehu, the senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity in Abuja on Thursday.
The statement said Mr. Buhari made the call when Paolo Gentiloni, the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation paid him a courtesy call at the State House.
The president said although relations between Nigeria and Italy were very strong, concerted efforts should be made to strengthen the ties.
Mr. Shehu said Buhari commended the resilience of Italian businesses in Nigeria and expressed happiness that new businesses are about to come up in the country.
He also commended Italy for supporting the “government in tackling the humanitarian situation in the North-East and the training being given to Nigerian policemen”.
The statement said Mr. Gentiloni, who was accompanied by the Italian Minister of State for Interior, Domenico Manzione, announced his government’s 10 million dollars humanitarian assistance to the countries of the Lake Chad Basin Commission.
Member-countries of the commission include Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria.
“This is within the framework of the European Union,’’ the statement added.
Mr. Shehu said the visit of the Italian delegation was a fulfilment of the promise made by the Italian Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, when he visited Nigeria.
The Italian prime minister had pledged to strengthen economic and political relations with Nigeria.