This Day (Lagos)

Nigeria: President Jonathan Off to Niamey, to Co-Chair Nigeria-Niger Joint Commission

President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan will Thursday undertake a working visit to Niamey where he will join his Nigerien counterpart, President Issoufou Mohammadou of Niger Republic to preside over a scheduled meeting of the High Authority of the Nigeria-Niger Joint Commission for Cooperation.

The President and his Nigerien counterpart, a statement by the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr Reuben Abati are working to revitalize and reposition the 41-year-old commission as a primary platform for effectively addressing emerging cross-border challenges in the areas of security, bilateral trade, health, energy and communications.

"The Convention which established the Commission in 1971 gave it the general and exclusive jurisdiction to identify ways and means of coordination and harmonizing the economies of Nigeria and Niger Republic in all fields with a view to achieving increased and more effective cooperation between them," the statement said.

Article 3 of the Convention also gives the Commission special responsibility for "proposing to the two Governments, measures and projects to be undertaken which will result in a gradual establishment of a rational, harmonious and balanced cooperation capable of ensuring maximum development of the two countries at the least possible cost and with a minimum of delay".

President Jonathan will seize the opportunity of his visit to Niamey to meet once again with Nigerians living in Niger Republic.

Before returning home on Friday, the President will have a stopover in Bamako, the Malian capital for further consultations on efforts by ECOWAS and the United Nations Security Council to restore normalcy to the country.

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