Namibia’s High Commissioner to Nigeria, Dr Peingeondjabi Shipoh, has encouraged all Namibians in that country to register themselves with the high commission in Abuja.
Shipoh said that currently there are no verifiable statistics or data on how many Namibians are living or studying in Nigeria.
He said apart from Namibian staff at the Abuja high commission and a few Namibians working at multinational and multilateral organizations, there is little information about other Namibians in the West African country.
“Namibians visiting Nigeria do not register their presence with the mission, which I find worrisome,” he said.
“The digital age has broken down physical barriers. You do not have to come to Abuja to register your presence with the mission; a citizen can be in Lagos and log onto our website, or alternatively send an email to the mission’s dedicated email address,” he said.
Shipoh said the Abuja high commission is pushing for a scenario where Namibians will be informed at their point of departure of the need to register their presence in Nigeria.
This way, he said, the mission will have data for referral purposes when needed.
Shipoh urged Namibian business people interested in doing business in Nigeria, Cameroon and Chad to contact the high commission in Abuja.
He says that currently the levels of trade between the two countries are moderate.
“The Nigerian economy is import dependent; the Abuja mission is trying to leverage on this by making made-in-Namibia goods visible at any given opportunity,” he said.
Shipoh said that since the establishment of full diplomatic relations in 1990, ties between Namibia and Nigeria have been very good and continued to improve.
He said the two countries view each other as close partners in the developing world.
“Namibia views Nigeria as a favourable developing market,” he said, adding that the volume of trade between Nigeria and Namibia continues to grow but at low levels.
He said that for many years Namibia’s economic engagement with Nigeria was limited. Relations stayed at the government-to-government level, consisting of agreements and development projects.
However, he said, relations have since greatly expanded into the private sector, with investment directly encouraged by both governments.