6 May 2014

Nigeria, North Korea Sign Co-operation Agreement On ICT, Education

Nigeria and North Korea on Tuesday in Abuja signed Information Technology cooperation agreement to promote exchange of information using modern technology between public sectors of both countries.

This is contained in a joint communiqué issued at the end of the 4th Session of the Nigeria-Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) in Abuja.

The nine-point communiqué was jointly read by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dr Martin Uhomoihbi and Mr Rio Myong San, Vice Minister of Trade of DPRK.

It stated that both also agreed on an education cooperation agreement to promote exchange of visits between university lecturers and educationist from both countries.

Under the agreement, university professor and technicians from both countries could carry out joint research projects in each other's higher institutions in the field of science and technology.

The agreement also encourages university professors to carry out joint research programmes in agriculture, geology, oil and gas, industrial technology, among others.

According to the communiqué, both countries agreed to create an implementation committee that would coordinate and advice the joint commission on identified issues of mutual interest.

It added that the 4th session of the joint commission also discussed draft agreements and MoUs in the other areas of common interest for both countries, including agriculture, trade and technical cooperation, irrigation and water management.

Later, Uhomoihbi told newsmen that as developing countries, Nigeria and North Korea faced teething development challenges.

He said the joint commission was a platform to "address and surmount" the challenges for the good of citizens of both countries. Relations between our countries date back to 38 years ago when diplomatic relations was established in May 25, 1976.

"One remarkable thing about our relations is that it has never been for once disrupted or frosty and this, indeed, is a testimony to very cordial and warm relations existing between both countries."

Also the leader of the delegation from the communist state said North Korea had been supportive of Nigeria at the multilateral level. He cited his country's support for Nigeria at the UN Security Council non-permanent seat election in 2013.

"We wish Nigeria becomes a permanent member of the UN Security Council and play a greater role in representing and protecting the interests of African people in the international arena," San said.

San said the agreements reached at the end of the 4th session of the joint commission would go a long way in strengthening economic ties between both countries.

The Nigeria Ambassador to the DPRK, Mr Alex Nwofe, told newsmen that at present "there is no form of trade between Nigeria and DPRK."

Primarily the reason is because of the nature of their policies; it is a communist regime and every government and economic action is controlled by the state.

Individuals find it difficult to come and stay or trade in DPRK but we are trying to promote trade and there is collaboration between the investment authorities in both countries.

"In September this year, we are planning an investment forum in Pyongyang," Nwofe said.

Nwofe expressed the hope that economic relations between Nigeria and DPRK would improve at the shortest possible time given the assurances and commitment shown by both countries.

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