The Jamaican High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr Esmond St. Reid, says his country is keen on strengthening ties with Nigeria in health, tourism, culture, trade, and business development sectors among others.
Reid made this known during the commemoration of the 60th Independence Anniversary of Jamaica in Abuja.
Reid said that Nigeria and Jamaica had enjoyed good diplomatic relations over the years and that Jamaica looked forward to expanding the relations to deepen the ties between both countries.
“Even as we celebrate this Diamond Jubilee, we are immensely grateful for the partnerships and the adverse areas of cooperation we have enjoyed with countries and international organisations around the World.
“We have a special bond with the Federal Republic of Nigeria and our collective history and culture extend over 400 years.
“It is not surprising therefore that Foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyeama was in Jamaica this week as our special guest, helping us to mark 184 years of emancipation and our transitional to political independence.
“We look forward to renewed areas of cooperation with Nigeria in health, tourism, culture, trade, and business development, among others in the years ahead,” Reid said.
Congratulating the Citizens of Jamaica, Reid said that Jamaicans both within and outside the country had contributed to the country and also their host countries.
“Our celebrations today will not be complete if we failed to acknowledge the tremendous contributions of the Jamaican Diaspora.
“Jamaicans can be found in every corner of the globe and have demonstrated leadership and excellence in the development of their adopted countries.
“Prime Minister Holness has noted that our Diaspora members play a critical role in promoting Brand Jamaica and are crucial partners and drivers of Jamaica’s economic development,” Reid said.
In his remarks, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, congratulated Jamaica for the successful commemoration of its Diamond Jubilee, pledging Nigeria’s commitments to sustain the diplomatic ties between both countries.
Onyeama who was represented by Mr Tunde Mustapha, Director Regions in the ministry, said that both countries were bound by similarities in rich culture, a sector that must be effectively harnessed in both countries.
“I bring warm greetings from the government and people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and from my Honourable Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama who is not present here.
“He was in Jamaica during the week on the invitation of the Prime Minister to celebrate the independence Anniversary.
“The fact that the minister personally attended the occasion is a testimony of the very cordial bilateral relations between the two countries.
“We are essentially one people historically and culturally though now separated by long distance.
The distance cannot keep us apart because we are determined to continue to bind our countries and people together politically, economically, culturally, and in a sphere of human endeavors.
Nigeria is committed to strengthening its bond with Jamaica and other countries of the world.
“We are committed to the principle of peaceful coexistence, non-aggression, and non-interference in the internal affairs of other nations,” Onyeama said.
Dean of Diplomatic Corp in Nigeria and High Commissioner of Cameroon to Nigeria, Salla-Hedine Ibrahim, on behalf of the diplomatic corps in Nigeria also congratulated Jamaica for its achievements as a nation at 60.
“I stand here in the name of the diplomatic corps in Nigeria and thank you for inviting us to celebrate with you the independence of Jamaica.
“Jamaica is known by all of us, all of us know reggae. Nobody across the world can say he has not danced reggae. Usain Bolt is a model to our youths all over the world,”
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Jamaica gained its independence from the United Kingdom on Aug. 6, 1962.