By: Bioluwatife Akinyemi
The Bulgarian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Yanko Yordanov at the weekend disclosed that a 1,010 percent increase in the trade volumes between Nigeria and Bulgaria for the year 2022.
He said this in Lagos, while addressing newsmen in a-day symposium organised by the United States Government Exchange Association Alumni in Nigeria, where he highlighted his achievements as as an ambassador and the efforts that are being made to foster the Bulgarian-Nigerian relationship.
He said: “Since I got here, we have doubled the trade volumes between Nigeria and Bulgaria. If you compare the statistics of 2022 to 2021, you’ll see a 1,010 per cent increase in the trade volumes, which I think it’s a significant thing and one of the outcomes of the Honorable Minister of Foreign Affairs of Nigeria’s visit to Bulgaria last year.”
“We are about to conclude the negotiations on the new scholarship programmes between Nigeria and Bulgaria. And I believe that once it is concluded, it will be the most important achievements of my tenure here; because we will set up a cooperation in critical areas of education like agriculture, pharmaceutical and other areas. Definitely, I believe very soon we will announce a lot of things,” he added.
While speaking on the importance of alumni exchange communities, he said, “We can only have one foreign ambassador in a country, but with this alumni association, I have 4000 ambassadors of Bulgaria in Nigeria, which makes it beneficial for both countries. They will help promote Bulgaria and bring some memories back. Bulgaria is a valuable partner with a proven record of partnership and cooperation. For example, was Bulgaria who the Lagos National Theatre, built by a Bulgarian and but it’s sort of fact that is largely forgotten.”
In his address, the keynote speaker, the attorney-general and Commissioner for Justice in Oyo State, Professor Edward Oyewo, who spoke on the theme “Harnessing Alumni Inter-country relations “, added his voice to the importance of alumni exchange association where he identified how being a Fulbright scholar under the Fulbright scholarship programme, to the University of California, Los Angeles between 1989 and 1990, facilitated a lot of relationships he has been able to build in academics and career across globes, despite residing in Nigeria.
He said: “In California, I met 100 other Fulbright scholars from all over the world; and at least, I keep up relationships with five to six of those from Bulgaria, France, US and others. So inter-country relationship is being built at inter-personal, professional and business levels.
The president of the United States Government Exchange Alumni Association
(USGEAA), Mr Mike Okwoche, expressed gratitude to the Bulgarian ambassador for the nation’s cooperation with Nigeria in past decades.
He however expressed optimism in the outcome of the symposium, which he believes will create diverse opportunities through partnership and collaboration for United States alumni members in Nigeria, and the Bulgarian government.
In her words, the Publicity Secretary of the USGEAA, Wofai Samuel, said, “The United States Government Exchange Alumni has a mandate to strengthen inter-alumni collaboration, networking and opportunities between Members and the U.S. Consulate in Nigeria.
“I am proud to see us go a notch further, this time, harnessing Eastern Europe collaborations for our members and above all, a productive country like Bulgaria.
“For Alumni who want to study or seek other opportunities in Bulgaria, this has been a great interactive platform. This also applies to Bulgarians who would like to visit and collaborate with Nigerians.”
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