Basseterre, St. Kitts (CUOPM) – St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas paid an important though brief one-day visit to Abuja, Nigeria on Wednesday where he held meetings with that country’s President, His Excellency Goodluck Jonathan and the Minister for Foreign Affairs, His Excellency Ambassador Aminu Wali.
The Prime Minister’s visit coincided with the opening in Abuja of the Federation’s first honorary consulate in that West African country where he spoke of the longstanding relationship between Nigeria and St. Kitts and Nevis.
Prime Minister Douglas pointed out that “in the years following independence from Britain, the Federal Republic of Nigeria assisted in the development of our human capacity and in the health sector, by dispatching medical doctors and other healthcare professionals to work at our hospitals and in a number of community centres.”
Dr. Douglas thanked the Nigerian government for the tangible signs of partnership and continuous support over the years.
He also expressed his satisfaction with the people of Nigeria who had grown to love St. Kitts and Nevis.
In reflecting on this, Prime Minister Douglas stated that “in many instances, the normal nostalgia that would attend being so far removed from home has often been overtaken by an undeniable and abiding affection for the twin-island Federation.”
The St. Kitts and Nevis Consulate in Abuja was commissioned in a very memorable and moving ceremony.
The reality and the symbolism were stark.
“The Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, with a population of some 52,000 people, the smallest independent country in the Western Hemisphere, has succeeded in expanding its diplomatic footprint on the African continent and is today establishing a consular presence in the Federal Republic of Nigeria the most populous country in Africa and the country with the largest black population globally of 160 million people,” said Prime Minister Douglas
He also expressed conviction that “his fellow citizens on St. Kitts and Nevis would be as proud as the people of Nigeria who displayed great pride and satisfaction on the physical expression of the deepening relationship between St. Kitts Nevis and Nigeria.”