By Victor Gotevbe
Abuja- National Days are usually designated dates on which celebrations mark the nationhood of nations or non-sovereign countries.
On September 28, 2017, the Ambassador of the Republic of Slovakia to Nigeria, Ambassador Peter Holasek, hosted members of the Diplomatic Corps, Government officials and guests to a dinner to commemorate Slovak’s 24th National Day of the Republic at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.
In his opening remarks, Amb. Holasek said that the occasion commemorates the adoption of the Slovak Constitution which followed four years after so called gentle or velvet revolution in Czechoslovakia in 1989 that changed profoundly the political system in the country and started democratic changes.
He said the process culminated in September 1992, when Slovakia adopted its constitution, adding that “events developed quickly, so that, in 2004 Slovakia could become a member of NATO, and the same year joined the European Union. In 2007, it was admitted to Schengen and 2009 became a part of eurozone.”
He stated further that, “Our relations with Nigeria are generally linked with our membership in the EU. They are mainly guided with subjects which maintain the way to the Africa-Europe “partnership”, and contribute to a model of relations that, we wish, would be beneficial for both countries. Bilaterally, we do the trade, which still has big potential to increase, especially in the energy and agriculture, we also offer young people studies at Slovak universities.”
Ambassador Holasek added that for both countries’ relations to be more effective, Slovakia is in the process of creating necessary infrastructure. Hence, recently, they are communicating relevant agreements on political dialogue, trade and economy with the Government of Nigeria.
Senator Abubakar Yusuf, Vice-Chairman, Senate Committee for Science and Technology, National Assembly, while speaking on the relationship between Nigeria and Slovak Republic, said improving the relationship between both countries would boost economic development, particularly for Nigeria.
He noted that Slovak Republic was doing very well in Europe by improving on its economic horizon and doing some contracts for Nigeria.
The vice-chairman said investors from Slovak were looking into the possibility of putting their money in Nigeria.
“I look forward to having what we call Nigeria, Slovak Chamber of Commerce and Industry, to boost the relationship.
“Nigeria can benefit from this relationship in terms of medicine, defence, water resources, power and other areas.”
Senator Yusuf said having improved relationship with Slovak Republic, transforming from centrally planned economy to a market-driven one, would boost trade and foster peace, economic, social, technical and educational opportunities between the two countries.