The Federal Government has congratulated the government and people of neighbouring Republic of Benin on the occasion of its 57th Independence anniversary.
At a dinner organized recently in Abuja to mark the event, Nigeria’s Minister of Culture and Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed congratulated the West African country and urged that the long standing relationship between Nigeria and Benin Republic be sustained.
Mohammed, who was represented by the Director-General of the National Council for Arts and Culture, Otunba Segun Runsewe, stressed that both countries share many things in common to necessitate their unity.
“In terms of culture, tourism, sports, trade, commerce and social-political activities, we have a lot in common with the republic of Benin.”
Adding, the Minister said the similarities between both countries even reflected in their shared August and October 1 as dates of their independence.
“Nigeria gained her independence on October 1st while that of Benin was on August 1st so you can see the similarity already”.
Runsewe commended Beninese living in Nigeria for adapting fully in Nigeria as their chosen homes; he expressed happiness that Nigerians as a happy and hospitable people have equally taken the Beninese as their brothers in return.
The culture helmsman used the opportunity to charge the Beninese in Nigeria to encourage their brothers and sisters to come to Nigeria and explore the unique opportunities in the country waiting to be tapped.
In her welcome address, the Benin Ambassador to Nigeria, Paulette Adjovi Yekpe thanked President Mohammadu Buhari for the warm reception accorded her while she was posted to Nigeria for the national assignment.
She expressed delight in the Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo for working closely with her country, especially in the areas of trade and investment and assured Nigerians that she will continuously work harmoniously with the government towards enhancing the existing cordial relationship between the two countries.
Speaking further, she intimated that, “Development and prosperity can only be achieved in a peaceful environment through regional co-operation”.
Among other dignitaries at the event were the South African High Commissioner to Nigeria, Lulu Louis Munguni, his Togolese counterpart, Dimban and other eminent personalities.