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Kenya set to sign pacts during Nigerian president's visit

04 September 2013, 15:38

Nairobi - Kenya and Nigeria are set to sign a series of bilateral agreements when Nigerian President Jonathan Goodluck visits the country on Thursday, according to a senior government official.

Kenya's Foreign Affair Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed on Tuesday told journalists in Nairobi that both countries will sign agreements on trade, double taxation, investment protection and narcotics.

The Nigerian leader's visit comes after President Uhuru Kenyatta's trip to the West African nation in July.

Gookluck's three-day state visit will be the first by a foreign leader since the new administration took over in April.

Mohamed said the upcoming visit will culminate in the establishment of a bi-national commission to promote ties between the two countries.

Both nations hold the same positions on curbing illicit trade on contraband goods. Mohammed said, adding that lack on these agreements has in the past hindered trade between Africa's most populous country and East Africa's biggest economy.

According to government data, Kenya exported 33 million U.S. dollars worth of goods to Nigeria in 2012 while importing only 550 000 dollars from the country in the same year.

"This level of trade is well below the potential of both nations," she said.

"Kenya has therefore organized a business to business conference amongst Kenya and Nigeria business people," Mohamed said.

The government official noted both nations are keen to boost inter-Africa trade. The Nigerian president is expected to come along with a large business delegation.

"The visit will be significant for both countries as Kenya and Nigeria are powerhouses in East Africa and West Africa respectively," she said.

Nigeria, with a population of 170 million, is a huge consumer of goods. "It also has a growing and sophisticated middle class that has a huge unmet demand for basic goods and services," she added.

Kenyan Ambassador to Nigeria Tom Omollo said there is also need for greater cooperation in the fields of culture, education and arts.

He said the Nigerian film industry is the second largest producer of movies in the world.

"Both nations can therefore learn from each other," Omollo said.

He noted that the visit will the first by a Nigerian head of state in Kenya for the past 25 years. 


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