AMBASSADOR KNUT LEIN STRENGTHENS DIPLOMATIC & DEVELOPMENT COOPERATION
Norway is a close and concerned companion in Nigeria’s onward motion and intercontinental impact. Its partnership with the giant of Africa continues to be seen and felt in diverse areas that are hugely applauded by many across the region and beyond. Known for its pursuits on an improved and sustainable world. Norway is a respected sovereignty in Europe and in the European Union; its membership on the UN Security Council in the January 2021-2022 tenure and diverse works are rapidly helping many nations across the world (including developing nations) accomplish their growth-goals.is a close and concerned companion in Nigeria’s onward motion and intercontinental impact. Its partnership with the giant of Africa continues to be seen and felt in diverse areas that are hugely applauded by many across the region and beyond. Known for its improved and sustainable world. Norway is a respected sovereignty in Europe and in the European Union; its membership on the UN Security Council in the January 2021-2022 tenure and diverse works are rapidly helping many nations across the world (including developing nations) accomplish their growth-goals.
Being a long time friend (arising from its relationship in stockfish trade dating back to over a century, Norway prance in pride and statements as a true and dependable ally of Nigeria. Among other beneficial interventions, the Northern Europe Nordic nation supports Nigeria in the promotion of peace and safety efforts, food security & sustenance, quality education advancement, entrepreneurial growth and job creation, business expansion, increased profitability, energy growth (particularly in renewable energy) and environmental sustainability, Agric development among other nation-building realizations.
At the frontier of Norway activities is its diplomatic mission in Nigeria through which the Kingdom and its Government officially relates with the country. The Norwegian Mission (with the Embassy in Abuja and Lagos) are revered diplomatic institutions whose performances and outcomes have earned accolades over the years. The Mission in Nigeria has had distinguished and dedicated envoys (past and present), men and women who are ensuring that the relations built over the years by both nations continues to endure and reap desired dividends.
Presently, at the head of the Norwegian Embassy, Nigeria in Abuja, is a young and energetic, affable, and goal orienting Envoy.Ambassador Knut Lein is an intelligent, interactive and impactful man whose focus and strives are to duly represent the interest of Norway in Nigeria and to deepen diplomatic and developments relations with Nigeria. Building on the past efforts of former diplomats in the mission and ably assisted by a staff with immense energy and passion for growth, and a , headed by a Nigerian, Mr. Taofik Adebgite, the Envoy since its appointment and formal commencement of duty in the country is making laudable strides that are not only burgeoning the existing ties but also helping to advance national growth interests. A guest at many high profilegovernment functions and socio-development forum, Ambassador Lein networks is visible, invaluable and profitable.
During an interactive session with Acclaim Nigeria International, Magazine, ANIM, a leading diplomacy and development PROMOTION international media outlet, Mr. Ambassador emphasized on Nigeria as a main priority partner for Norway because of its size, politics, economic value, influence and increasing global recognition. He noted that Norway is working in strengthening bilateral and multilateral relationships with Nigeria and his leadership is ambitiously engaging with Nigeria in a numbers of areas including: political cooperation, diplomacy cooperation, development cooperation, educational diplomacy, humanitarian cooperation, security cooperation, educational cooperation, health cooperation, trade and investment cooperation, cultural cooperation among others.
He also highlighted on a number of issues:
On Trade Growth with the country, Mr. Lein noted that his leadership is enhancing efforts towards helping Norwegian companies grow in their various sectors in Nigeria. Taken into consideration the effect of Covid-19 on businesses, his office will be up and doing in ensuring Norwegian companies get the needed assistance to thrive well, even as he is also boosting efforts in renewable energy growth in Nigeria.
On Educational Advancement, The Envoy stated that schools in Norway are free, and are also available for any foreign students (including Nigerian students desiring education/study in Norway) that meets the entrance requirements and government supervisory body’s approval. He mentioned that he went to schools with some Nigerians during his time and they (Nigerians) acquired their free education, stressing that once travels opportunities beckons again, no qualified students will be denied the chance to pursue their educational programmes in Norway.
On Health Matters, especially on ending the COVID-19 scourge, in Nigeria and globally, His Excellency, Mr Lein noted that Norway is at the forefront of ending the pandemic and has committed and will continue to commit huge resources through the COVAX mechanism and GAVI for vaccination supplies and other capacity building and integrated interventions. Concerning Visa Issuance, the Ambassador explained that Norway will not deny any legitimate and qualified visa seekers from Nigeria. He explained that the visa processing of the Embassy movement from Nigeria, (even though travel papers (requirements documents submission centers are still in Abuja and Lagos) was for operational ease and facilitation, prompt access and process for visas issuance, centrality, speedy, efficient and qualitative consular services.
On the significance of the Norway Seafood Council, NSC, seafood seminars held in Nigeria, which were supervised by Mr. Trond Kosveit and moderated by Mrs. Abbey Cheke, Ambassador Lein also in attendance remarked on the fascinating importance of the stockfish trade relationship between Nigeria and Norway dating over 100 Years now; the economic and cultural gains, nutritive importance and age-long friendship established and sustained, urged for its continuance.
The essence of the 2021 conferences (Lagos & Abuja), which gathered diverse stakeholders from the private and public sectors, exporters and importers, government officials including from regulatory and enforcing agencies were to draw the attention of the Nigerian government to the immense benefits of stockfish trade in Nigeria and why any barriers limiting (the import and export) this sea product should be removed. He further urged the CBN to delist stockfish from the list of commodities restricted from accessing FOREX in Nigeria in order to aid their accessibility to Nigeria, smooth trade and marketability expansion, affordability and enjoyability (cheaper and better foods supply), and for better ethical branding of stock-fish as seafood fit for human consumption rather as animal feeds that they are wrongly brandished to escape the barriers. The Ambassador said allowing free-flow of stockfish in Nigeria is a win-win situation for all.
Ambassador Lein also assured of Norwegian helps in getting out of the pandemic in Nigeria and other nations and a robust and beneficial diplomatic engagement. And, so far so good, Ambassador Knut Lein strides are commendable even as the Embassy impressively marches on. KUDOS YOUR EXCELLENCY!.