Abuja. Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan is expected in Kenya today evening for a three-day visit in what State House Nairobi said was “to boost bilateral and trade ties” between the two countries.
President Jonathan and his delegation of several hundred businesspeople will land at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport at 4pm where he will be met by President Uhuru Kenyatta and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta.
It will be the first time a Nigerian president is touring Kenya on a state visit in as many as 26 years and several business and cooperation agreements are expected to be signed.
On Tuesday, Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed said the Nigerian leader’s trip would be “an incredibly significant visit for both countries” because it would help enhance business opportunities.
“Nigeria is a very strong country in the West (of Africa), it is an economic powerhouse. We consider it important to our country and I think his visit is something people should watch,” she said.
“We will sign several agreements including one on cooperation in some of the areas that we have had challenges in,” she said.
Nigeria, with a market of 130 million people, is a potential market for Kenyan products, but Ms Mohammed admitted the business has not been good because of inadequate interactions between the two countries.
Exports from Kenya for instance dropped from Sh3 billion ($34m) per year in 2010 to Sh2.9 billion($33m) in 2012.
Nigeria, though, has benefited mainly through its movie industry by getting a ready market in Kenyan sitting rooms.
In addition, there are several Nigerian Banks such as UBA and Eco Bank operating in Kenya.