Buhari Begins Four-day State Visit to Portugal 

* To be conferred with country’s national honour

* Leads nine-man team to UN ocean conference 

Deji Elumoye in Abuja 

President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to depart Abuja Tuesday as the head of a nine-man Nigerian team on a four-day state visit to Portugal at the invitation of President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa. 

On the president’s delegation are the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; his Information and Culture counterpart, Lai Mohammed; Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo; Minister of Youth and Sports, Sunday Dare and Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami.

Others are the National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno (rtd); Director General, National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ambassador Ahmed Rufa’i Abubakar and Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa.

The president, according to a release issued by his spokesman, Mallam Garba Shehu, who will hold official talks with his Portuguese counterpart, will be conferred with the country’s national honour and decorated with ‘Great Collar of the Order of Prince Henry’.

The two presidents are expected to chair an enlarged bilateral meeting and witness the signing of some agreements bordering on issues of mutual concern. 

President Buhari will also visit the Portuguese Parliament and hold discussions with its president, Dr Augusto Santo Silva, as well as the Prime Minister of Portugal, Antonio Costa. 

In the course of the visit, the president is scheduled to address a Forum of Nigerian and Portuguese businessmen and hold separate meetings with select Portuguese chief executive officers and prospective investors to Nigeria. 

President Buhari will also participate in the United Nations Ocean Conference, which began in Lisbon on Monday, June 27, and runs till July 1. 

The conference, co-hosted by the Governments of Kenya and Portugal and supported by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), aims to accelerate the adoption of science-based innovative solutions to challenges facing oceans and the global marine ecosystem.

The Nigerian leader is also expected to engage members of the Nigerian community in Portugal on matters affecting them and developments at home.

The president is due back in Abuja on Saturday, July 2. 

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