Wendell De Landro, ambassador of Trinidad and Tobago to Nigeria, says the southern American country is ready to expand trade with Nigeria.
Mr De Landro announced this on Monday in Abuja during the commemoration of the 60th independence anniversary of Trinidad and Tobago.
According to him, Trinidad and Tobago and Nigeria share similarities in rich culture, natural resources which can be properly harnessed and traded for mutual benefits. But he lamented the diminishing trade relations between the two nations.
“Culture is one. Another thing is that we have our gas development. I know for a fact that there is gas flaring in Nigeria and that is a sacrilege to me. And that is why when I came in 2018, I spoke to the Nigerian Gas Association about it, to show Nigeria what we can do about it,” said Mr De Landro.
He added, “Right now, Nigeria is flaring probably half to three-quarters of an LNG train … Nigeria has six trains and is working on the seventh. We (Trinidad and Tobago) have four. We are using our gas, our LNG and we sell. Nigeria is doing that but they can do much more by harnessing the flared gas.”
He stressed that trade between the two countries had diminished.
“We were exporting bitumen to Nigeria. What we are doing now is to get agricultural produce. We have small yams, but in Nigeria you have yams as big as my legs. I tell people that the sweetest pineapples I have eaten are in Nigeria,” said the envoy. “In Jos, you have tomatoes. We make ketchup in Trinidad. We can get tomatoes from Jos to export.” De Landro
Tunde Mustapha, a director in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, congratulated Trinidad and Tobago on the economic achievements it recorded in the past 60 years.
Mr Mustapha, who spoke on behalf of the Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, said Nigeria was committed to strengthening its relations with Trinidad and Tobago.
“Nigeria and Trinidad and Tobago share very warm and cordial relations dating back to the time of independence and our two countries have been able to solidify these cultural affinities over time,” he stated. “We wish to commend the government of Trinidad and Tobago for the giant strides it has achieved in bringing economic prosperity to its people.”
According to him, Trinidad and Tobago was classified by the World Bank as a high-income country with the highest capital income in the region, after the U.S and Canada.
“Nigeria is committed to strengthening the ties and bonds with Trinidad and Tobago and there are many areas for cooperation in the economic sphere that need to be explored as both countries are oil producing nations,” the foreign affairs official noted.
He added, “The two countries also share common principles of peaceful, coexistence, non-aggression and non-interference in the internal affairs of other nations.”
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