The Foreign Affairs Minister of Nigeria, Geoffrey Onyeama visited Venezuela on 5th August 2022 to hold bilateral talks and attend the first Joint Commission Meeting between Nigeria and Venezuela. The official high-level meeting was held at the Casa Amarilla, Foreign Ministry headquarters. During the meeting, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Venezuela, H.E. Carlos Rafael Faría Tortosa and Geoffrey Onyeama discussed the bilateral, regional, multilateral & global issues of mutual interest. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Venezuela, H.E. Carlos Rafael Faría Tortosa also made a brief review of their diplomatic ties and highlighted the historical role of the African nation.
H.E. Faria also highlighted the significance of the Venezuela-Nigeria joint commission as an example for other nations in the building of a multicentric world. In turn, Foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyeama also pointed out that in spite of the impact of unilateral coercive measures, Venezuela has remained “standing up, without breaking down, promoting the development of its people”. Mr. Onyeama also insisted on consolidating the roadmap of cooperation and South-South brotherhood ties to boost their relations.
The Joint Commission Meeting discussed issues related to science and technology, agriculture, energy, mining, transportation, culture, oil and gas, migration, education and tourism, among others, of mutual concern.
In the 57 years of history of their diplomatic ties, this was the first time that the delegates from both the significant bilateral partners met. According to H.E. Mr. Faria, “Venezuela and Nigeria” are two countries that are “very similar for many reasons, because of their oil and gas production and because of their people who are warriors, both were colonies and have won their independence, and this must be valued when setting the guidelines for the relationship.”
It is significant to note that Nigeria is the largest economy on the African continent and a member of the ‘Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries [OPEC]’, and a major gas producer, which will further enhance economic ties between the two countries.
Nigeria and Venezuela share common concerns and have had excellent relations for many years. Corresponding to this, Mr. Onyeama said, “the multilateral system is the anchor for a more prosperous and peaceful world. We have seen the challenges in the global financial system, which today is paralyzed, and countries are resorting to protectionism. There is a need for change.”
The Venezuela-Nigeria Joint Commission consists of working groups in the fields of politics and diplomacy which will look at the issues related to science and technology, agriculture, energy, mining, transport, culture, oil and gas, migration issues, education, and tourism, among others.
Currently, 21 common projects are being discussed by the two countries which cover areas such as communication and information, defence, the fight against money laundering, agriculture, air services, aeronautical cooperation, recognition of diplomas, trade, tourism, etc.
With the launching of the Venezuela-Nigeria Joint Commission, both countries are looking forward to further enhancing their political, geostrategic and cooperation ties for the benefit of their peoples, along with boosting people-to-people connections.