Wed, Jan 03, 2018 - Page 3 News List

MOFA tells Nigeria Trade Office to move from Taipei

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff Reporter

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it has issued a formal diplomatic note requesting the relocation of the Taipei-based Nigeria Trade Office in Taiwan.

The ministry on Dec. 8 completed the relocation of the nation’s representative office in Nigeria from its capital, Abuja, to Lagos and the office is to begin operations on Friday, Department of West Asian and African Affairs Director-General Antonio Chen (陳俊賢) told a news conference in Taipei yesterday.

The Nigerian government sent 15 armed police officers to escort the Taiwanese personnel during the 800km move, due to local security issues, Chen said.

“After the move was completed, we issued a note verbale to the Nigeria Trade Office in Taiwan, officially asking it to move out of Taipei,” Chen said, but added that a deadline has not been set for its relocation.

The request is in line with a similar demand by the Nigerian government in January last year, when Nigerian Minister of Foreign Affairs Geoffrey Onyeama announced at a joint news conference held with Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (王毅) in Abuja his country’s adherence to the “one China” policy and demanded that the Taiwanese representative office move out of its capital.

The Nigerian government also requested that Taiwan’s representative office change its name and reduce its staff.

In late June last year, it sent military police to seal off the office and force the remaining staff to leave.

When asked if the government plans to take any measures if the Nigerian office delayed the relocation, Chen said it would handle the matter according to due process and would not resort to any “barbaric measures” as the Nigerian government did.

The Nigeria Trade Office said it was waiting for instructions from the Nigerian government.

The office had previously said that it might not have the funds needed to relocate.

It has yet to decide whether to move the office or close it altogether.

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