Sweden has opened a new consulate in Lagos to expand economic cooperation between Nigeria and the Nordic country.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the new Swedish Consulate was inaugurated by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu at Landmark Towers, Victoria Island, Lagos on Thursday.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Swedish Ambassador to Nigeria, Carl Michael Gräns, said the consulate in Lagos would be a focal point for the business and socio-cultural activities of the two countries.
Mr. Gräns pointed out that the first Swedish embassy was opened in Nigeria on October 1, 1961, adding that the two countries had celebrated 60 years of diplomatic relations.
“At this time, we want to expand our economic cooperation and that is one of the reasons why this honorary consulate was opened.
“We understand that the pandemic has done a lot of damage to businesses and relationships, but we want to come together and play an important role in economic recovery,” the Swedish envoy said.
He said the new honorary consul would consult the affairs of Swedish and Nigerian citizens on business matters as well as cultural promotion.
Philip Akesson, newly appointed Swedish Honorary Consul in Lagos, said his main task was to help Swedish citizens in Nigeria with consular matters, while supporting Swedish businesses as needed.
Mr. Akesson said that during his 10 years in Nigeria, he fell in love with the entrepreneurial energy, warmth, economic culture and drive of Nigerians.
“There are many opportunities in Nigeria, especially in Lagos, and I believe the relationship between the two countries will continue to grow stronger.
“I look forward to supporting our Swedish businesses and also supporting the Embassy in Abuja as they strive to improve ties, friendship and promote trade between the two nations,” Mr. Akesson.
Inaugurating Sweden’s new honorary consulate, Mr Sanwo-Olu said Lagos was open to more business partnerships with Sweden.
According to the governor, the presence of the mission in Lagos will further strengthen Swedish-Nigerian businesses leading to mutually beneficial economic, cultural and political outcomes.
“It is exciting to know that the bilateral relationship between Sweden and Nigeria spans more than sixty years. This demonstrates our partnership and I thank the Swedish government for putting this in place.
“Many businesses and sovereign nations in Nigeria recognize that even though we have a thriving capital in Abuja, for them to be close to citizens, activate businesses and initiate cultural activities, there is still a sense that they must have a footprint in lagos..
“This partnership is not just about what Lagos stands for but also about the benefits we can all derive from the bilateral relationship and today the Swedish government has done the most appropriate thing,” Mr Sanwo-Olu said. (NOPE)
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