By Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari will today, in response to the invitation of the United States President Donald Trump, leave Abuja for America on an official working visit to Washington DC.Â
Mr. Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, in a statement said Buhari during the visit, would hold bilateral talks with Trump and also have a working lunch on Monday, April 30, 2018.Â
According to Adesina, the meeting will discuss ways of enhancing the strategic partnership between the two countries as well as advancing shared priorities, such as: promoting economic growth, fighting terrorism and other threats to peace and security.
He also said the meeting would further deepen the US-Nigeria relationship as the United States considers Nigeriaâ€™s economic growth, security and leadership in Africa to be critical aspects of their strategic partnership.
Furthermore, Adesina said later on the same day, Buhari would meet with a group of business persons in agriculture and agro-processing, dairy and animal husbandry.
He said ahead of the visit, meetings had been scheduled to hold on April 26 and 27, 2018 between senior Nigerian government officials and executives of major US companies in the areas of agriculture, aviation and transportationÂ
He added: “In the area of aviation, the Nigerian officials will be meeting with Boeing, the largest aircraft manufacturer in the world, on the national carrier project. On agriculture, they will meet with large equipment manufacturers with focus on harvesting and post harvesting equipment.Â
“In the area of transportation, the officials will meet with the GE-led consortium for the implementation of the interim phase of the narrow gauge rail concession. In the interim phase, a substantive concession agreement will be negotiated and finalised to provide the consortium the opportunity to invest an estimated $2billion, to modernise the rail line from Lagos to Kano (Western line) and from Port Harcourt to Maiduguri (Eastern line).Â Â
“During the meeting, the concession framework and the interim phase framework agreements are expected to be signed. The Nigerian officials will also meet with US-EXIM Bank and the US Overseas Private Investment Corporation to explore competitive financing arrangements.Â
“It is noteworthy that in 2017, Nigeriaâ€™s Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment and the United States Department of Commerce signed a Memorandum of Understanding to promote and encourage commercial and investment ties between Nigeria and the United States, with initial focus on infrastructure, agriculture, digital economy, investment and regulatory reforms,” he said.