President Muhammadu Buhari and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday vowed to ramp up security and economic cooperation between Turkey and Nigeria.
Speaking after talks at Erdogan’s palace, Buhari and the Turkish leader vowed to increase investment and cooperate in the fight against extremist groups including Boko Haram jihadists.
Erdogan said he believed both sides would push trade volumes above $1.245 billion. he said “Turkish business people are ready to take on the development of Nigeria,”.
At a time of tense relations with the European Union and the United States, Turkey has been moving to broaden its influence in Africa, opening new diplomatic missions and air links.
Erdogan has himself been a frequent visitor to the continent, most recently travelling to Tanzania, Mozambique and Madagascar in January.
Erdogan said Turkey saw no difference between Boko Haram and Islamic State (IS) and the group of the US-based preacher Fethullah Gulen blamed for the 2016 failed coup.
President Buhari will on Friday travel to Istanbul to attend a summit of the Developing-8 (D-8), a grouping of growing mainly-Muslim countries first envisaged by Erdogan’s late political mentor and former Turkish premier Necmettin Erbakan.
It comprises Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Turkey.