As part of the government effort and measures devised to bolster security in the country, Hidayet Bayraktar, Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey to Nigeria, disclosed that drones and helicopters from Turkey would soon arrive in Nigeria. Bayraktar made it known at the commemoration of the 99th National Day of the Republic of Turkey in Abuja and also characterized Turkey’s aid to Nigeria as a result of the defense cooperation contract signed between the two countries in 2021.
He stated that the defense contracts signed by both countries set a significant historical precedent, emphasizing that Turkey is prepared to offer all forms of security aid to Nigeria in its efforts to combat insecurity threats that are currently plaguing the country whilst also sharing its experience, technical expertise, and technologies. Bayraktar also revealed that two of Turkey’s flagship defense industry platforms, (TB-2) drones and (T-149) ATAK helicopters, are set to arrive in Nigeria.
The year 2022 witnessed an excellent impetus for both countries.
Furthermore, Bayraktar asserts that the new Turkish military products will significantly contribute to the peace, prosperity, and security of fellow Nigerians, as well as assist the efforts of the Nigerian government. He claims that the Turkish government expects the Nigerian government to reciprocate its legitimate security concerns by taking the appropriate actions to combat the vile FETO terrorist group’s substantial presence in Nigeria. Terrorist organizations have been highlighted as the sole impediment limiting the development of diplomatic relations between the two countries. In light of this, the Turkish government has urged Nigeria to put an end to the terror group’s operations.
Speaking on the bilateral ties between the two countries, Bayraktar said that the years 2021 and 2022 saw significant progress in Turkey-Nigeria relations. He noted that the year 2022, which marked the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations with Nigeria, had lately witnessed a lot of impetus, with the reciprocal high-level visits of President Erdogan in October 2021 and President Buhari in December 2021. With the current pace of increasing commercial relations, Bayraktar said Turkey would soon achieve the target of a $5 billion bilateral trading volume with Nigeria.
Both countries have had a boost in trade with the mutual visit.
The mutual high-level visits have provided the opportunity to highlight both countries’ shared objectives of deepening their bilateral ties in all areas, particularly in the defense sector, energy, construction, manufacturing, healthcare, education, tourism and culture. According to Bayraktar, the Turkish government, with its steady growth over the last decade and its emergence as an economic powerhouse in its region, has expressed its readiness to share its development experience with African countries to broaden and strengthen its cooperation in different areas.
In the same vein, Nigeria’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Amb. Zubairu Dada said Nigeria and Turkey had recorded increased trade and bilateral ties since the high-level visit exchange between both Presidents in 2021. Dada added that since the previous round of high-level meetings and visits, both countries have been exploring new ways to enhance their ties, mainly through increased trade volumes. In addition, she explains that Nigerians have remained interested in conducting business with their Turkish counterparts, which is reflected in the Turkey-Nigeria Business Congress held in Istanbul in September 2021.
Nigeria, Turkey continues diplomatic engagements at a high point.
Dada noted that Nigeria and Turkey have recently shown a deep commitment to partnership in their interactions, including people-to-people relations. He expressed optimism as Nigeria and Turkey maintain high-level diplomatic interactions, stating that both nations will strive persistently to enhance ties for the mutual benefit of their people. According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), members of the Diplomatic Corps, Minister of Environment Mohammed Abdullahi, Senate Chief Whip Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, and Turkish residents were present at the commemoration.