President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has said that the visit of the French Foreign Minister, Mr. Alain Juppe, to Kano last Saturday, as well as the trip of Ambassador Jean-Michel Dumond to Kebbi and Sokoto States has proved that Nigeria is a safe country to visit.
President Jonathan was speaking to the out-going French Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Jean-Michel Dumond, who paid a farewell visit to State House, Tuesday, November 15.
'Your visits to Kebbi and Sokoto States, after the French Foreign Minister visited Kano, all in the north of Nigeria, confirm that the country is safe to visit', he stated, recalling the visit of the French Prime Minister to the Niger Delta in 2009, when other nationals were reluctant to visit that part of the country.
The President commended President Nicolas Sarkozy for the tremendous support Nigeria and Africa have enjoyed from France, especially towards the restoration of peace, stability and democracy in Cote d'Ivoire, Niger Republic, Guinea and Liberia.
On bilateral issues, President Jonathan said the Economic Management Team was working hard to improve Nigeria's investment environment, particularly power supply, and acknowledged the contributions of Mr. Dumond in strengthening relations between the two countries.
Earlier, the out-going French Ambassador, Mr. Jean-Michel Dumond, had said his stay in Nigeria since January 2008 had enabled him to realise that misconceptions about Nigeria abroad were not justified, adding that his efforts to enlighten the French business community about Nigeria has led to the presence of over 120 French companies in the country.
He said Nigeria was the leading French trading partner in Africa, but added that there was still much to do to consummate the strategic partnership between both countries.
Mr. Dumond said France has proved many times over that Nigeria and France are strong partners, listing areas of mutual cooperation to include trade, security assistance, promotion of democracy and manpower development.
He thanked President Jonathan for the cooperation he enjoyed from the Government during his tenure.
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