RELATIONS BETWEEN NIGERIA AND ALGERIA

Nigeria and Algeria established diplomatic relations immediately after Algeria attained her independence in 1962. Since then, relations between the two countries have remained very cordial. Nigeria and Algeria emerged as nation States with the zeal to assist other African Countries to achieve independence. This common desire binded the two countries to form a formidable collaboration in the Liberation of many African countries from Colonialism and apartheid regimes. Hence, both Countries were made members of the Front line states, because of their effective role on the emancipation of numerous Countries in the Southern African region.

The old relations was reignited with the ascension to power by former President Olusegun Obasanjo and President Abdulaziz Bouteflika, following democratic elections in the two Countries in 1999, and the personal rapport the duo struck between themselves. It would be recalled that President Abdulaziz Bouteflika and former President Olusegun Obasanjo along with other African leaders realised that one of the surest ways to bring the African continent to the level of the developed world was through massive infrastructural development and boosting level of intra – African trade. A practical step was taken by these leaders towards the realization of this objective by way of developing an integrated socio-economic development framework for Africa.

This gave birth to the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) in 2001which has, as one of its objectives, the placement of African Countries, both singularly and collectively, on a path of sustainable growth and development. It set as its priorities establishing the conditions for sustainable development as well as policy reform and increased investment in key priority sectors. These include building and improving infrastructure as well as establishing a strong information and communication technology base.

Similarly, the two countries have continued to enjoy cordial understanding at the multilateral fora, consulting and supporting each other on decisions involving our continent. To this end, the Group of Four (G4) comprising Algeria, Ethiopia, Nigeria and South Africa was formed in Addis Ababa. The G4 played a prominent role on the success of the transformation of the OAU – AU. The four countries have continued to forge common understanding on several issues which has helped in no small measure in shaping important decisions of the OAU and later the African Union (AU).

Nigeria and Algeria have also continued to enjoy a long term reciprocal support for each other’s candidates vying for positions in multilateral organisations. The two countries also worked closely in OPEC as the two major hydro carbon producers and exporters from Africa. Nigeria and Algeria similarly collaborate as strong members of NAM, G-77, IOC and others. To boost economic activities and encourage business between the two Countries Nigeria and Algeria established the ‘Development Corridor’ with important projects that comprises the Trans-sharan Highway, Trans-Saharan Gas Pipeline Project and Trans Sharan Fibre Optic Project. It is expected in 2018 the Highway Project would be concluded, hence Algiers and Lagos, would be connected via a motorable road.

In the same vein, the two countries enjoyed a strong Security Cooperation working closely on counter terrorism issues. We also enjoyed Consular/Immigration Cooperation, Bilateral Education Agreement and numerous other economic, social and Political Cooperations. Nigeria has its oldest Bi-National Commission (BNC) with Algeria where the two leaders of the countries themselves chaired the Commission. Overall, Nigeria-Algeria relations could be aptly described as most authentic, amiable and highly formidable collaboration.