The Federal Government has underscored the need for collective effort to exploit the economic potentials in the Nigeria-Sao Tome and Principe Joint Development Zone.
Amb. Zubairu Dada, Nigeria’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, made this known in Abuja during the official inauguration of the Nigerian delegation to the Nigeria-Sao Tome and Principe Joint Ministerial Council (JMC) of the Joint Development Zone.
Dada said that with the inauguration of the delegation, Nigeria’s interest and symbolic achievements would be showcased at the council, which would further advance the two countries’ commitment to peace and enhanced Africa integration.
The minister of state, therefore, urged the delegation to “spare no room in working together as a team, for the good of Nigeria.
“The Joint Development Authority had circulated some briefs and documents on the JDZ to all members of this delegation, which I feel will help us in understanding our roles and responsibilities.
“We must encourage ourselves with the JDZ treaty signed on Feb. 21, 2001 between the two countries, particularly part two, articles 5, 6, and 7 on our composition, meetings, and decisions.
“There is need to convene full meeting of the JMCM, in order to provide guidance on quite a number of issues requiring decisions at the ministerial level, build on commitment, and commence activity of JDZ authority as agreed by President Muhammadu Buhari and Prime Minister of Sao Tome and Principe, Patrice Trovoada, at the AU Summit in 2018, at Addis Ababa.
“This meeting led a high-powered Nigerian delegation led by my predecessor Khadija Bukar Abba-Ibrahim, on official visit to Sao Tome and Principe from Aug. 8 to 10, 2018,” Dada said.
He said that the Nigerian delegation would need to hold series of consultative meetings to study the communiqué resulting from the high-powered delegation’s visit to Sao Tome and Principe.
He said that would enable the delegation to articulate it’s position and arrive at decisions so as to jointly and collectively promote Nigeria’s interest at JMC meetings going forward.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the JDZ is located in the Nigeria-Sao Tome and Principe boundary region that is speculated to be rich in oil and gas reserves.
More so, both countries had earlier created a joint development authority, in the bid to bring about equal benefit from the natural resources and exploit the economic potentials in the zone.
The Nigerian delegation, which is being led by Dada comprises the Ministers of State for Petroleum, Mines, and Agriculture.
Others include the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Defence; the Nigerian Ambassador to the Republic of Sao Tome and Principe; and the Director General, National Boundary Commission. (NAN)