The Ambassador of the Republic of Finland, Ms Pirjo Suomela-Chowdhury, on 2 October 2014 presented her Letter of Credentials to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. Ms Suomela-Chowdhury is the 17th Ambassador of Finland serving in Nigeria. Finland is among the most long-standing partners of Nigeria, having established an Embassy in Lagos already in 1963.
In Finland there is an active and increasing interest towards Nigeria that is now the largest economy on the continent, and the most populous one. Already many Finnish companies are active in the country, and others have much to offer. While challenges remain, Nigeria is seen as a country of huge potential for those who have the right expertise, experience and vision. Sectors holding great promise include health, education, ICT, energy, clean-tech, mining and construction.
In her discussion with President Jonathan, areas of current cooperation between Finland and Nigeria where highlighted. At the same time, there was agreement on the need to much more fully exploit existing potential. Commending Nigeria for its effective action on the ebola disease, Ambassador Suomela-Chowdhury emphasized possibilities in the health sector, whether in the area of non-communicable diseases, maternal health, or others. Gender equality was mentioned as a priority for both countries.
After presenting her credentials Ms Suomela-Chowdhury introduced to President Jonathan her spouse Elias Chowdhury, as well as Deputy Head of Mission Minister-Counsellor Markku Laamanen, Head of Finnish Trade Centre in Lagos Mr Olu Raheem, and Immigration Liaison Officer Mr Mikko Oksanen
Ambassador Suomela-Chowdhury, whose previous post was at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Helsinki as Director for United Nations Development Affairs, has also served in Finnish Embassies in Beijing in the Peoples Republic of China, and in Santiago de Chile.