4NAIJA: France pledges to work hand in hand with Nigeria to stop Boko haram

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Friday, 17 July 2015

France pledges to work hand in hand with Nigeria to stop Boko haram

The continued attacks of Boko Haram in the Northern part of Nigeria, Chad, Niger, Cameroon has brought in the attention of the global society thereby making more countries pledge to support Nigeria curb the insurgency.

The Government of France has described the operations of Boko Haram, an Islamic terrorist organisation, as a real threat not only to Nigeria, but also Africa at large, thereby adding that it would work with Nigeria to crush the group.

At a meeting with the Lagos state governor, Akinwunmi Ambode at the state house, Ikeja on Wednesday, the French Ambassador to Nigeria, Denys Gauer, expressed grave concerns over the recent Boko Haram uprising.

Gauer, who attended the meeting alongside the Consula General of France, Marcel Escure, Head of Regional Economic Department, Dominique Simon and Head of Regional Economic Department in Lagos, Francis Widmer, said France “is interested in Lagos because it is the economic capital of Nigeria as well as West Africa.”

However, the ambassador decried the deadly operations of Boko Haram, which he said, had become “a real threat not only to Nigeria, but equally for to her neighbouring countries in West Africa in particular and Africa in general.”

He said: “It became mandatory to work with the whole region. That was why President Francois Hollande conveyed a meeting in Paris with former President Goodluck Jonathan and presidents of surrounding francophone countries in May 2014 to help them to cooperate and work together against Boko Haram.”

He added that the French Government “is working very closely with the Nigeria military forces. We are providing them intelligence and military support. We are also supporting very strongly Nigeria’s neighbouring countries.

“We are encouraging them to cooperate with Nigeria. This led to the establishment of Multinational Joint Taskforce which was established in Ndjamena, but with a Nigerian General as its head. That is why our relations are now expanding very strongly. But we have to relate more economically. That is why I often come to Lagos,” he added.

In spite of potent threat the Boko Haram onslaught posed to foreign INVESTMENTS, Gauer said the French Government would maintain stronger economic presence in Nigeria, especially Lagos being the country’s economic capital.

“The greatest part of French community in Nigeria is Lagos and not in Abuja, especially our companies are all present here in Lagos. We have more than 50 offices of big French companies all established here in Lagos and more are coming.

“What I wanted to tell you also is that the relations between France and Nigeria have expanded very positively recently and Nigeria is our first training partner in Africa now. We also are encouraging French companies to come into Nigeria and mainly into Lagos. Likewise, politically, our relations have expanded very positively,” he added.

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