The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has called for stronger ties between Nigeria and Canada.
He made this known while hosting the Canadian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Nicolas Simard, in his office on Friday.
The speaker also assured the diplomat of the commitment of the House to gender issues.
Mr Gbajabiamila, in a statement by his media aide, Lanre Lasisi, said the 9th House had prioritised certain issues, not only for the development of the country but also in conformity with global demands.
He said Canada needs to explore areas of security, cybersecurity, biosafety, energy as well as parliamentary diplomacy to the benefit of both countries.
Mr Gbajabiamila said the issue of security, gender parity, violence against persons, rape, in addition to the economy are well articulated in the 9th House Legislative Agenda to help drive the attainment of the set goals of the Green Chamber.
“Gender parity is an area that this 9th National Assembly, I think more than any past Assembly, focuses seriously on. We are not just talking, we are walking the talk,” he said.
On the diplomatic ties between the two countries, Mr Gbajabiamila said “It is important that we sustain and continue these engagements to the benefit of our countries. As we know, the world is a global village now, and everybody feeds off everybody and we are all interdependent one way or the other.”
Earlier, Mr Simard, informed the speaker that the strong bilateral relationship between the two countries had resulted in more than $1 billion trade exchange between the two nations last year, while about $115 million per year in form of humanitarian and development assistance from Canada to Nigeria to several sectors has been given.
Mr Simard also expressed Canada’s readiness for more robust engagement with Nigeria, while he inquired about how Nigeria is dealing with issues of women empowerment and inclusion as well as human rights situation and what steps the House was taking towards the issues.
The diplomat congratulated Nigeria on the adoption of the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act and its domestication by several states.
Canada is one of the top destinations for young Nigerians seeking opportunities outside the country.
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