King Mohammed VI of Morocco on Wednesday had a telephone conversation with Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari, who is on medical vacation in London.
A statement released by the Presidency on Thursday disclosed that the King, who initiated the call, asked after the President’s health and expressed satisfaction at his rate of improvement.
The two leaders were also said to have discussed the current stage of the Morocco-Nigeria Atlantic crude oil pipeline project.
The statement released by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina reads;
“King Mohammed VI thanked President Buhari for Nigeria’s support in returning Morocco to the African Union and notified him of Morocco’s request to join the Economic Community of West African States.
“The Moroccan King also expressed his intention to make the Rabat-Abuja strategic partnership a framework for regular consultation and cooperation on African issues of mutual interest to both countries.
“President Buhari, who thanked King Mohammed VI for the phone call, said that he looked forward to deepening relations between both countries.”
Recall that in December 2016, President Muhammadu Buhari met briefly with Morrocan King Mohammed VI in Abuja during a 3-day official visit to Nigeria leading a 300-man delegation. This was the Moroccan Monarch’s first visit to Nigeria since he ascended the throne in July 23, 1999.
Though Buhari and King Mohammed met behind closed doors, the visit was purportedly focused on bilateral trade and economic relations between the two countries.
Following the visit, public and private sectors of both countries pledged to collaborate in leveraging on opportunities for sustainable economic growth as improved business relations between Nigeria and Morocco will create mutual benefits, connect the continent’s markets and enhance competitiveness.
Since the Moroccan Monarch’s coronation in 1999, King Mohammed has not only extended his hands to West Africa or French-speaking Africa, but to East Africa and the continent as a whole.
The Moroccan Monarch’s recent tour of Africa has been quite significant and has recorded numerous agreements with Rwanda, Tanzania, and Ethiopia amongst others in the fields of agriculture, industry and infrastructure.
Meanwhile, in the sports sector, the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco to Nigeria, His Excellency Moha-ouali Tagma on Tuesday sought for stronger ties between the Nigeria and Morocco’s football ruling bodies during a courtesy visit to NFF President Amaju Pinnick in Abuja.
Ambassador Tagma, accompanied by his deputy head of mission Abdellatif Jihaoui, expressed their conviction that stronger ties would benefit both countries that are continental powers in the game of football.
“Morocco and Nigeria already have very good relations in several areas of endeavor, and we believe that both countries have quality football Leagues that can become even stronger with shared templates and ideas.
“Personally, I am a football fan, and I cannot forget that outstanding Nigeria team of 1994. I believe the Moroccan League, which boasts of players from a number of countries in sub-Saharan Africa, can do with players from Nigeria,” Tagma said.
In response, NFF President Amaju Pinnick thanked the envoy and promised that the NFF is interested and will explore areas of further and stronger collaboration with the Federation Royale Marocaine de Football (FRMF).