The Spanish Ambassador to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Amb. Alfonso Barnuevo Sebastian de Erice, has said that the volume of bilateral trade between Spain and Nigeria has exceeded 7.5 billion Euro in 2013.
Sebastian de Erice said this at an event to mark the country’s National Day in Abuja on Thursday night.
The ambassador said the trade figure was encouraging and important, adding that the Spanish imports were “progressively acquiring more weight”.
“Spain is usually Nigeria’s fourth or fifth biggest client; 90 per cent of the petroleum consumed in Spain comes from Nigeria.
“These facts give us an index on where our relations stand,” he said.
He described the relationship between both countries as one based on mutual trust and respect.
He added that more Spanish companies were seeking to partner with Nigeria in the sectors of engineering and construction, minting, food and wine.
He said that Spanish businessmen in Nigeria had begun making efforts to open up new markets and win new projects in the country.
“I’m confident that a larger percentage of Spanish companies will increase in the coming years,” he said.
The envoy reiterated Spain’s commitment with Nigeria in the fight against terrorism.
“Spain has in very many occasions expressed its strongest condemnation to the terrorist group Boko Haram. We have suffered acts of terrorism and thus we feel very close to Nigeria and many other countries that suffer this plight.’’
He commended the government in promoting “pluralism, diversity and tolerance of the different ethnic groups and religions”.
The envoy expressed optimism in the 2015 elections, adding that the elections would be an opportunity to build on shared values and respect among citizens.
“Our basic instruments of peace building would always be justice, respect for human rights and the increase of security measures to fight terrorism.”
He congratulated Nigeria on the efforts made at containing the spread of the Ebola virus disease.
He also expressed his solidarity with countries suffering from the Ebola epidemic and reiterated the need for the international community to enhance efforts in tackling its spread.
He also commended ECOWAS in the area of conflict resolution and reiterated the Spanish Government’s resolve to maintain cooperation with the bloc.