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Trade volumes Nigeria and Pakistan to hit $1 billion in 5 years.
President Goodluck Jonathan
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday said he expected trade volumes between Nigeria and Pakistan to hit $1 billion within the coming five years.
"Presently, trade relations between Nigeria and Pakistan are extremely low, but of course we are committed to doubling it in the next three years," Jonathan said after holding talks with visiting Pakistani counterpart Mamnoon Hussein.
"In the next five years or so, our target is that we should move from under $100 million to at least $1 billion," he told reporters. "We are now out to encourage more robust trade relations."
Hussein, accompanied by a 70-strong delegation, began his four-day state visit to Nigeria on Monday.
The visit was earlier slated for April 21, but was postponed in the wake of deadly terrorist attacks in Nigerian capital Abuja.
"Both countries have a high population and… also have huge resources," said President Jonathan. "If we work hand-in-hand, we will improve the wealth of our people."
Jonathan said he was scheduled to visit Pakistan at a later date, going on to urge other state actors to consider visiting Pakistan with a view to deepening relations.
"We have discussed a number of issues and will continue to discuss more as we meet with the [Pakistani] business group," he said.
President Hussein, for his part, said he had discussed with Jonathan how to "institutionalize the existing economic partnership between the two countries."
He said he planned to launch a Pakistani commercial station in Lagos on Wednesday with the aim of bolstering cooperation with Nigeria, especially in the area of counterterrorism.
The two leaders inked a host of agreements in numerous fields, including industrial relations; antiterrorism and security; poverty alleviation and human capacity development; cultural exchanges and trade; and narcotics and agricultural development.
Hussein's visit to Nigeria is the first by a Pakistani president in three decades.
Both Nigeria and Pakistan are members of the Non-Aligned Movement and have strong military relations dating back to Nigeria's independence in 1960. (Source - Anadolu Agency)