Nigeria and Canada on Monday resolved to deepen bilateral relation in the areas of trade and commerce, education, security as well as science and space technology.
The Canadian Governor-General, Julie Payette, disclosed this when she addressed reporters after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Ms Payette, who is accompanied on the visit by eminent Canadians including government officials, members of parliament and members of the business sector, noted that Nigeria and Canada had been friends and partners for decades.
The governor-general, who described Nigeria as the largest trading partner in Africa and largest investor in Canada, said Canada had a strong base in Nigeria as the number of companies doing business in the country had grown significantly in recent years.
“Many opportunities exist to deepen cooperation as you mentioned to me during our conversation there is a lot of room for growth for the bilateral relationship between Nigeria and Canada.
“Fortunately, we already have a strong base and we will continue to build on this.
“Nigeria is Canada’s largest trading partner in sub-Saharan Africa and as well Nigeria is the largest investor from Africa in Canada.
“The number of Canadian companies doing business here has grown significantly in recent years and we really hope that this delegation would foster even more trading and commerce between our two countries,’’ she said.
Ms Payette disclosed that, at the height of the Nigeria–Canada relationship, more than 10,000 Nigerian students were studying in Canada.
She further revealed that 5,000 Nigerians residing in Canada had been contributing positively to the growth of the country’s textile industry.
She stated that one of the priorities of her visit to Nigeria was to meet and celebrate the vibrant youth of the country.
Ms Payette said the visit would also focus attention on the National Space Research and Development Agency in Abuja.
The official was the second Canadian woman in space and the first Canadian to ever visit the International Space Station.
Her career as an astronaut began in 1992, when she was chosen from a pool of 5,330 applicants to become one of four astronauts selected to join the Canadian Space Agency.