, ABUJA, Nigeria, Jul 17 – Kenya Airways will soon commence direct flights to Abuja in Nigeria to encourage frequent exchanges in the tourism and trade sectors, President Uhuru Kenyatta has said.
President said the recent review of Bilateral Air Services Agreement between the two countries was an important milestone that allowed Kenya Airways to fly direct to Abuja.
Speaking during a meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan at State House
Abuja, the Head of State pointed out that tourism was an untapped potential area in the bilateral relations between the two countries.
He said that the Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the field of tourism under consideration by the two countries will also offer other avenues for exchanges in this important sector.
“Nigeria has a large middle class population, which would enjoy the numerous tourist attractions in Kenya. We want to see Nigerians stopping in Kenya for business and tourism not just transiting through Nairobi,” President Kenyatta said.
In this regard, the Head of State encouraged Nigerian entrepreneurs to take advantage of the attractive investment opportunities available in Kenya to conduct businesses.
He further called for closer interaction between business communities from both countries through the respective chambers of commerce and relevant trade and investment institutions to facilitate and expedite trade and investments.
Saying trade is the key driver of economic growth and poverty alleviation, the President stressed the need for the two countries to take charge of their economic destinies through increased intra-African trade.
“Whereas I am encouraged by the growth of trade between our two countries, the potential for investment and trade is still largely under exploited,”
President Kenyatta said.
He added that the new chancery and ambassador’s residence in Abuja which he officially opened earlier in the week is the largest Kenyan diplomatic establishment in Africa and a clear testament of the country’s longstanding commitment to strengthen and consolidate its bilateral relations with Nigeria.
The Head of State said the two countries enjoyed cordial and fraternal relations nurtured over the years through friendly interaction in various spheres.
He added that the bond between the two countries was amply demonstrated by the presence of the Nigerian leader during his recent inauguration as President of the Republic of Kenya.
President Goodluck, on his part, assured President Kenyatta that his
Federal Government will do everything possible to enhance the bilateral relations existing between the two countries.
In attendance were Cabinet Secretary Amb Amina Mohamed and her Nigerian counterpart Olugbenga Ashiru among senior government officials from the two countries.