Nigeria to Strengthen Ties with Cuba, Says Shettima

Ahead of the G77+China Leaders’ Summit commencing Friday, Vice-President Kashim Shettima expressed the desire of the Tinubu administration to deepen existing bilateral relations with the Republic of Cuba.

“Our relationship has been very excellent over the years and this relation needs to be strengthened and upscaled,” Shettima told his Cuban counterpart, Salvador Valdez Mesa at the Palace De Revolution in Havana.

The State House Director of Information, Office of the Vice-President, Olusola Abiola, revealed this in a statement he signed on Tuesday.

The statement was titled ‘G77+China Leaders’ Summit: Nigeria, Cuba to deepen strategic relations.’

Shettima traced the history of relations between Nigeria, Africa and Cuba, especially its support for Southern Africa saying “We hold Cuba in high esteem, especially your commitment to us in Africa…this is why I came with ministers of Agriculture, and Science, Technology and Innovation to explore future areas of partnership.”

The Vice-President stressed the need to explore opportunities in Science, Technology and Innovation as well as the agriculture sector.

He delivered a special message to the President of Cuba, Miguel Diaz-Canel from President Bola Tinubu, assuring him of the latter’s commitment to deepening their mutual relations.

In his remarks, Cuba’s Vice-President praised Nigeria’s leadership role in Africa and the world.

Mesa said Cuba took its relations with Nigeria seriously, noting that the support to Africa in past decades was because Cuba considered itself an African state.

He expressed his country’s readiness to explore new areas of collaboration with Nigeria in sectors such as health, biodiversity and agriculture.

He also thanked Nigeria for its participation at the upcoming summit saying “We attach great importance to your presence here.”

The Havana Summit is being hosted by the President of the Republic of Cuba, Miguel Díaz-Canel in his capacity as Chairman of the G77 and China, under the theme: “Current Development Challenges: The Role of Science, Technology and Innovation.”

On the VP’s delegation were the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Abubakar Kyari; Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology, Uche Nnaji and the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Adamu Lamuwa and Nigeria’s Ambassador to Cuba, Ben Okoyen amongst others.