Over 150 Nigerian nationals living in Rwanda gathered to celebrate their 53RD independence anniversary at their embassy premises in Kigali, Rwanda on October 1st, 2013.
The commemoration that falls on October 1 marks Nigeria’s liberation from British colony in 1960.
Upon arrival guest proceeded to the tables in white tablecloths, readily set with a variety of beverages. Most of the guests appeared in spectacular Nigerian tradition gear.
Speaking at the event, the Nigerian High Commissioner to Rwanda, Ayibakuro Peter Ogide-Oke commended the strong bilateral ties between Nigeria and Rwanda.
He praised the Rwandan government for its efforts to be the first to open a diplomatic mission in Abuja in 2011 with resident high commission and Nigeria established hers in Kigali 2012 making him the first Nigerian High Commissioner to Rwanda from 2012.
“Our countries have signed, bilateral agreements even before I got here,” Said Ogide-Oke.
He stated that one of the agreements includes technical assistance programme, under which Nigeria sends manpower to Rwanda and the Nigerian government caters for the allowances of experts sent here.
“Bilateral air services agreement was also signed between the two countries, and Rwanda was first to take advantage of this agreement with RwandAir launching flights to Lagos,” he said, adding that “we hope the airline will extend flights to Abuja as well.”
Currently, they are 19 Nigerian medical personnel’s in health institutions across Rwanda comprising of doctors and nurses.
“We intend to increase the scope and even the number of such volunteers to Rwanda,” Ogide- Oke said.
He added that despite the fact that the structures were not in place, we have always interacted, so we have some Nigerian businesses in Rwanda.
Pointing out to financial sector—Access Bank, a Nigerian insurance firm has shares in Sonarwa (an insurance company) and other investments are to be implemented.
“Other areas we want to look at include tourism, telecommunication, cultural exchanges, and oil and gas.”
Presiding over the event, the Director General of Bilateral and Multilateral Cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs James Ngango, represented the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Louise Mushikiwabo.
In his speech praised the initiative of Nigeria celebrating its 53rd independence anniversary for the first time in Rwanda since the establishment of the embassy in Rwanda.
He also expressed appreciation to the relationship between the two sisterly countries.
Adding that reciprocal of high level visits made by leaders contribute to cement this relationship.
The bilateral relations between Rwanda and Nigeria date way back to the independence of both countries, and over the years the relation has remained warm and cordial.
This years’ 53rd anniversary celebration marks an epoch occasion to be celebrated on the Rwandan soil.
Event that began with the national anthems for both countries included activities such as speeches, Nigerian songs, dancing as well as food, which was displayed for self-service.