The 9th Session of the Nigeria-South Africa Bi-National Commission (NSABNC) scheduled to hold between 2nd October to 4th October, 2019 commenced today.

The meeting took off with a Ministerial Session at the Conference Room of OR Tambo Building, Rietondale, Pretoria, in preparation for the Thursday, 3rd October Bi-National Commission Session that would have the Presidents of both countries in attendance.

The Ministerial Session which was co-chaired by the South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor and the Nigerian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Godfrey Onyeama, received, analyzed and adopted the submission of the outcome of the meeting of Senior Officials from both countries which took place on the 26th and 27th September, 2019.

The Senior Officials during their meeting reviewed the performance of the existing MoUs between the two countries and proposed a 2-year implementation plan to commence effectively from January 2020 to December 2022 and agreed on nine (9) areas of cooperation.

The Ministerial Session which comprised of Nigeria Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Mines and Steel Development, Interior, Police Affairs, Trade and investment as well as Defence and their counterparts from South Africa approved the nine (9) areas of cooperation between the two countries as submitted by the Senior Officials.

Mineral Beneficiation and Processing; Minerals & Metals Value Addition; Advancement of Geo-Scientific Knowledge Generation; Regulatory Framework and Policy and Investment Promotion are among the nine (9) areas of cooperation between Nigeria and South Africa as proposed by the Senior Officials of the two countries.

Others items in the agenda include: Joint Study Tour on ASM activities; Contribution to Energy Security; Capacity Building; as well as Contribution to Agriculture and Food Security.

Dr Naledi Pandor in her speech congratulated the Senior Officials of both countries for the progress made at their meeting and promised to present the resolution to the Presidents of the two countries. She commended the two countries for their readiness to ensure that the partnership and cooperation between the two countries would be result oriented and serve the interest of the citizens of the two countries.

In his remarks, Nigerian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama

in his speech said Nigeria is determined to work very closely and develop the existing relationship between the two countries.

The deliverables of the Bi-National engagement according to him, “will strengthen the relationship between the two countries, identifying priorities, we have so much to share and to learn from each other and together, hand-in-hand, walking forward, we are absolutely certain that we will achieve the goals that we have set for ourselves, a goal of re-appropriation and promoting sustainable development in our two countries.”

The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc. Olamilekan Adegbite in a chat with the media said the meeting was timely and mutually beneficial as it provided opportunity for the two countries to discuss cooperation on different sector, particularly the Mines and Steel Sector.

Speaking on the outcome of the Ministerial Session, Adegbite said, both countries acknowledged that they need to work together. “South Africa just discovered crude oil and they need our experience in terms of petroleum exploration especially offshore while they are very advanced in mining and we are learning from them to avoid pitfalls that they had, we need to understand the steps they are taking especially in terms of environmental degradation, how mining can be properly done without salvaging the environment, it is really a symbiotic relationship,” he reiterated.

The Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Government of the Republic of South Africa in October, 1999 established a Bi-National Commission (BNC) called Nigeria-South Africa Bi-National Commission (NSABNC) as a mechanism for a sustaining bi-lateral High-level dialogue to promote and increase cooperation in diplomatic, economic, security and other areas of mutual interest.

The commission was established to among other goals; promote and coordinate foreign policy, economic, commercial, technical, social and cultural co-operation between the governments; to address the areas of mutual interest or concern and develop strategies tackling these issues with assistant and coordination from both Governments.

Idowu Jokpeyibo

For: Director Press