Buhari Embarks on Four-day Visit to France Sunday

*To discuss security issues with French President

*Holds phone conversation with Turkey’s Erdoğan

By Deji Elumoye in Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari will on Sunday (tonight) depart Abuja for Paris, France, on a four-day official visit to attend African Finance Summit.

A statement by the State House Abuja said the summit will be focused on reviewing African economy, following shocks from Coronavirus pandemic, and getting relief, especially from increased debt burden on countries.

The statement signed by Presidential spokesman Garba Shehu said the Summit, to be hosted by President Emmanuel Macron, would draw major stakeholders in the global finance institutions and some Heads of Government, who will, collectively, discuss external funding and debt treatment for Africa, and private sector reforms.

During the visit, President Buhari will meet with the French President to discuss growing security threats in Sahel and Lake Chad region, political relations, economic ties, climate change and partnership in buoying the health sector, particularly in checking spread of Covid-19, with more research and vaccines.

The statement said before returning to Nigeria, Buhari will receive some key players in the oil and gas sector, engineering and telecommunications, European Council and European Union Representative for Foreign and Security Policy and Commission, and members of the Nigerian community.

The President will be accompanied on the trip by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed; Minister of Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo and Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire.

Also on the trip are National Security Adviser, Maj. Gen. Babagana Monguno (rtd) and Director General of National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ambassador Ahmed Abubakar.
In another development, President Buhari has canvassed for active participation of Turkey in Nigeria’s economy as well as humanitarian activities in the North East geo-political zone of the country.

The President, in a release on Saturday by his spokesman, Garba Shehu, had a fruitful telephone discussion with his Turkish counterpart, Tecep Tayyep Erdoğan and expressed satisfaction with existing bilateral ties between the two countries while calling for greater Turkish participation in the economy and the humanitarian efforts in the Northeast.

The President used the occasion to, on behalf of himself, the Government and the people of Nigeria, extend a sincere message of goodwill and felicitation on the important occasion of Eid-el-Fitr to President Erdoğan and the people of Turkey.

President Buhari expressed gratitude to Allah for sparing “our lives and granting us the ability to perform the important obligations of the month of Ramadan”.
The two leaders expressed their earnest desire for peace and stability to reign in the world, and for an end to all ongoing conflicts as well as the COVID-19 pandemic.

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