THANK YOU VERY MUCH THE CHARGÉ D’AFFAIRES FOR ACCEPTING OUR REQUEST FOR THIS EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW.
Thank you so much to the Arabella Magazine for reaching out to us and hello viewers.
YOUR THE CHARGÉ D’AFFAIRES MA, CAN YOU GIVE US A BRIEF OF YOU?
Am three weeks old (laughs) in Abuja, so far am enjoying my stay, everything seems to be in order, this is my first experience of Africa, and this is my first visit to Nigeria as well I hope it will be a very good stay with a lot of interesting experiences
WHAT WAS YOUR IMPRESSION ABOUT NIGERIA BEFORE ARRIVING THE COUNTRY AND HAS THAT CHANGED SO FAR?
Well as I said, this is my first experience in Nigeria, I never had an opportunity to visit Nigeria before, so I know like every other country theirs always challenges and advantages so I think am very optimistic and I look forward for a positive engagement with local Nigerians and also with the rest of the world.
NIGERIA AND MALAYSIA HAVE MAINTAINED A VERY CORDIAL DIPLOMATIC RELATIONSHIP SO FAR, WHAT IS YOUR IMMEDIATE ACTION PLAN TO FOSTER THIS RELATIONSHIP?
That’s right, you are right. Thank you for the question. As probably a lot of you might know that there are a lot of students from Nigeria travelling to Malaysia and before pandemic, it was higher We had almost 9000 Nigerian young Nigerians travelling to Malaysia to pursue their studies but I think the number dropped to almost half I think in 2021 so I think my first move will be to foster our relationship through education and cooperation to encourage more younger Nigerians to pursue their studies in Malaysia and we also offer scholarships so please take this advantage to use the opportunity, to utilize this scholarships that we offer the most i think valuing scholarship would be The Malaysian Technical Cooperation Program through that program we offer a lot of trainings to the young officials as well as courses for young Nigerians to pursue their degrees and also masters and diploma in Malaysia.
THERE IS MUCH EFFORT BY THE NIGERIAN GOVERNMENT TO IMPROVE AGRICULTURE IN THE COUNTRY, CONSIDERING MALAYSIA’S RAPID GROWTH IN LIVESTOCK AND OTHER AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS HOW CAN MALAYSIA HELP NIGERIA IN THIS SECTOR.
Ok I will say not just in agriculture but the economy in general theirs already a lot of cooperation going on, we have investment from Malaysia in Nigeria, in the banking sector also in Oil and gas so one of the way we are helping Nigerians is by offering training to the officers involved in all this sectors not just agriculture but in the white sector, and so far we have almost 600 offices involved in this training we started this training as early as 1990’s up till now there are about 600 offices that benefited so we will continue and we hope that we get to engage more with Nigerians.
HOW WILL YOU RATE NIGERIA-MALAYSIA RELATIONSHIP IN TERMS OF TRADE AND COMMERCE?
We are doing good I think our trade volume is something that we can be proud of, we hope that in the future theirs is more collaboration and we can also look forward to more technology transfer so there is also a lot of interest among young Nigerian business people to explore market in Malaysia I will say that i encourage the potential traders and young business men who has idea to expand their business to Malaysia to also consider to use Malaysia as a hub because Malaysia has access to ASEAN countries because of its strategic location, it can be easily connected to other ASEAN countries so I would say, ASEAN has a big market opportunity of about 660 Million population and also combined GDP would be almost 3.3 Trillion Dollars when I say ASEAN is the association of 10 Asian countries I think you are aware of this countries beside ASEAN of course, Asia in general would also be an option for a Nigerians to consider so you are most welcome to Malaysia, should you need any information please contact us we will be very happy to serve you the information and we have a trade office in Lagos so we have a trade commissioner he will be able to assist you we have also trade programs and events held in Malaysia so should you need any exposure, please contact us we will let you know the right courses or the right events that you should participate in Malaysia that would be beneficial that would give you the first experience about Malaysia and the office that we could give to the Nigerian business people.
ASIDE STUDIES ARE NIGERIANS LIVING IN MALAYSIA LIKE A COMMUNITY?
Yea because as I said earlier, that there is a big number of Nigeria students before the pandemic travelling to Malaysia and even though the number have reduced but still, we still have Nigerians in our public universities so there is maybe not big but small community of Nigerians and personally have seen them and in few famous places like in our main cities at kuala lumpur, Petaling Jaya so when you are there, you probably get to bump into a Nigerian (laughs).
WHAT LEGACY WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE REMEMBERED FOR AFTER YOUR STAY IN NIGERIA?
I would say the people because my first impression about Nigeria was to those people that I meet at the airport they were very nice and friendly next was at the hotel they were very professional and all my staff which probably you would see at the end of the interview they are all very cooperative and also the people that have meet so far even though am just here for three weeks they seem to be very helpful at the ministries lets say at the ministry of foreign affairs that I mostly visited they are all very professional and very helpful so I think all this would be something that I would remember at the end of my stay here.
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO POINT AT TO CONCLUDE THIS INTERVIEW?
I would say there is a strong need for us to connect even though we have our trade ties and also people to people relations I think we should develop this more and we are ready to help to assist Nigerians through education and also training and through the ways that we can help so those interested Nigerians please use the available platform, and if you are not well versed of information of our sectors or offers that we have in Malaysia please do contact us we would be very happy to share those information with you and I think that’s what I would like to conclude with (laughs).
THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR HAVING US
Thank you once again for reaching out to us and thank you to your team.
YOU ARE WELCOME.