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Turkish investments in Nigeria exceed N240bn – Envoy

The Turkish Ambassa­dor to Nigeria, Mr. Ha­kan Cakil, has affirmed that Nigeria remains his country’s strategic partner in sub-Saharan Africa for the past 50 years. He dismissed as spuri­ous allegations that 50 Nigerian students are being detained in Turkey following the post-failed coup crackdown.
Cakil, who is 15 months old in Abuja as the country’s chief envoy, told The AUTHORITY on Tuesday that Turkish invest­ments in Nigeria have crossed the N240 billion mark and op­portunities for more growth ex­ist.
“Turkey has a “strategic eco­nomic relationship with Nige­ria. Nigeria is Turkey’s strategic partner in Sub-Saharan Africa. This relationship dates back to more than 50 years,” he said.
In his breakdown of the in­vestments, Cakil disclosed that N180 billion is direct Turk­ish investments in the country while the balance of N80 billion covers investments in partner­ship with Nigerians.
According to the envoy, “in 2014 alone, the volume of trade between Nigeria and Turkey was $2.5 billion but the figure dropped to $1.5 billion in 2015 because of the crash of crude oil prices in the international mar­ket.”
Noting that Turkey enjoys a strategic business relationship with Nigeria in the oil and gas sector, he said that there are over 70 Turkish companies operating in the country, while there are about 100 Nigerian businesses in Turkey.
His words: “Nigeria is one of the biggest providers of liq­uefied natural gas to Turkey. Turkey imports gas from Rus­sia, Qatar and Algeria but Ni­geria provides us with LNG un­like the three other countries.”
On the allegations that Tur­key detained 50 Nigerian stu­dents, the ambassador said that there is no foreign student ei­ther from Nigeria or elsewhere that is held by Turkish authori­ties at the moment.
Rather, he explained that the government has transferred 259 Nigerian students studying in private universities that were closed down by the government after the coup to state univer­sities.
“I can tell you that there is no truth that 50 Nigerian stu­dents are detained in Turkey. Nigeria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs called me twice when the news came that 50 Nigeri­an students have been detained in Turkey.
“I spent one week in Tur­key to clarify this. At the end, it was discovered that the report is false. There are no Nigerian stu­dents under detention or arrest. None of the foreign students is detained or subjected to arbi­trary treatment,” he insisted.
He revealed that the Turk­ish Embassy had to sponsor the President of the National Asso­ciation of Nigerian Students (NANS) to Turkey to investi­gate whether or not 50 Nigeri­an students were in detention in the country.
Cakil said: “NANS led a protest to our embassy de­manding the release of 50 Ni­gerian students some days ago. I came out and addressed the stu­dents. I asked them to nominate one person to go to Turkey and find out the truth. NANS pres­ident was nominated and we sent him to Turkey. He spoke with Nigerian students in Tur­key. He spoke with key authori­ties in the country. He returned on October 22 and admitted that no Nigerian student is in detention. I challenge anybody to visit Turkey and find out the truth.”

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