A delegation from Niger Republic, led by the Governor of Tahoua region Malam Abdulrahman Musa, have a held a one-day high-level meeting in Sokoto to discuss security and economic ties between the two neighbouring states.
Speaking at the opening of the meeting, Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal said the gathering is a follow-up of the bilateral discussion held when President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger Republic visited President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria in Daura last September.
“This meeting seeks to enhance cooperation between our people and our government. It will discuss critical areas like security, trade, agriculture, forestry development, cultural integration, animal breeding, education and movement of persons in furtherance of the charter of ECOWAS and the African Union (AU).
“We will also discuss effective use of water from various rivers connecting neighbouring communities in the two countries. Of particular interest to us is the dam recently constructed in a community in Tahoua which has dried up water in Kalmalo dam of Illela LGA of Sokoto state.
“I am confident that the longstanding cooperation between the people of Sokoto and the people of Tahoua will be enhanced at the end of our deliberations,” Tambuwal said.
In his remarks, Governor Musa extolled the level of cooperation between the two nations, saying the cultural and historical ties that bind their people are still strong.
He said even though there is relative security in the areas bothering Sokoto and Tahoua, they are not oblivious of the precarious situation in Nigeria’s North East and Diffa region of Niger Republic.
“The Boko Haram menace and other security challenges may be a bit far from us, but we must be proactive to prevent its spilling to this side of our countries,” he stated in Hausa language.
He also called for a closer collaboration in education, saying the meeting will discuss the possibility of establishing colleges and universities to serve the common interest of their people.
The meeting had in attendance security agencies, lawmakers, traditional rulers, business leaders and other technocrats from the two countries.
A minute silence was held in honour of 30 Sokoto citizens who recently died on their way to Chota in Niger Republic for a religious ceremony.