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April 14, 2024

Deputy Speaker Seeks Partnership with Netherlands on Food Security, Others

In a bid to foster economic growth and development in the country, the  House of Representatives has called for more collaboration and partnership between Nigeria and the Netherlands to address food insecurity and conflict  

The Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu, made the call while playing host to the Ambassador of the Netherlands to Nigeria, Mr. Wouter Plomp who paid him a courtesy visit at the National Assembly, Abuja.

He noted that the Netherlands stands as a significant source of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Nigeria, particularly in the oil and gas, manufacturing, and agriculture sectors.

Kalu harped on the importance of food security, saying that it’s a sustainable approach to having peace and security.

The Deputy Speaker referred to his initiative known as the ‘Peace in the South East Project’ which has agriculture and food security as one of its pillars, recalling that it recently launched ‘Food for Peace’ aimed at providing food for the people. 

Speaking on other areas for further collaborations, Kalu stated that there’s a significant potential for partnership in the value chain for the processing and packaging of dairy products. 

He opined that Nigeria, having the fifth largest cattle herd in Africa, collaboration with the Netherlands in processing dairy products beyond what is currently being done at the moment can foster economic growth.

He added that the parliament is looking forward to engaging in more productive dialogue that further strengthens bilateral relationships.

In his words: “Your presence here at the People’s House stands as a testament to the deep-rooted historical ties and enduring friendship that bind our two nations. 

“The parliament is aware of your presence in the country and the impact that you’re making. Take it back to the kingdom that the parliament of Nigeria is aware of the contribution you’re making to nation-building. 

In 2022, bilateral trade between Nigeria and the Netherlands reached 7.7 billion Euros, with Nigeria enjoying a trade surplus of 5.2 billion Euros. Our trade relations continue to thrive.

“The Netherlands’ support for peacebuilding initiatives in Nigeria, especially in addressing conflicts in regions like the North East, is commendable. Specifically, the Kingdom of the Netherlands has provided crucial support to those affected by the Boko Haram insurgency for the past seven years. 

“Let me also mention the food system, if we secure lives and properties and we don’t secure food, lives and properties will be lost. We secure lives and food, that’s a sustainable approach to having peace and security.

Earlier, the Ambassador, Wouter Plomp told the Deputy Speaker that the Netherlands is very much interested in deepening cooperation in agriculture and other sectors, aimed at promoting these sectors, strengthening bilateral relations and mutual dialogue.

He informed the Deputy Speaker of a memorandum of understanding signed a fortnight ago with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on having bilateral consultations every year.

Plomp assured the parliament of more national coverage with their seed programme to not only promote the agri business but also the business in agricultural commodities for young people.

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