Nigeria: Buhari Departs Abuja for Niamey Thursday

Mr Buhari billed to attend AU Summit on Industrialisation, Economic Diversification in the Nigerien capital.

President Muhammadu Buhari will, on Thursday, embark on an official trip to Niamey, the Republic of Niger to attend the African Union Summit on Industrialisation and Economic Diversification.

The President’s spokesperson, Garba Shehu, who confirmed this in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja, said while in Niamey, the Nigerian leader would also participate in the Extraordinary Session on African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

He said, “The President, who will depart Abuja on Thursday, will also attend the launching of the French version of the Book entitled: ‘Muhammadu Buhari: The Challenges of Leadership in Nigeria’.

The presidential aide disclosed that Mr Buhari would inaugurate the ‘Muhammadu Buhari Boulevard’, named after him by the Government of the Republic of Niger.

According to Mr Shehu, the naming of the Boulevard and launch of the French version of the Book, written by John Paden, a Professor of International Studies at George Mason University, Northern Virginia, United States, precedes the AU Summit on Friday.

He revealed that the president would also deliver his National Statement at the African Union Summit on Industrialisation and Economic Diversification.

The theme of the meeting is: ‘Industrialising Africa: Renewed commitment towards an Inclusive and Sustainable Industrialization and Economic Diversification.’

“The High-Level Summit, being convened as part of the Africa Industrialization Week annual commemorative activities, is expected to adopt a Declaration, highlighting the importance of industrialization and economic transformation in the continent and how to make progress in that regard,” Mr Shehu said.

Every 20 November is commemorated as the Africa Industrialisation Day, adopted by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the then Organisation of African Unity in July 1989, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

According to Mr Shehu, the Extraordinary Session on AFCFTA is expected to adopt the Phase II Protocols of the continental free trade area as well launch additional operation tools.

Nigeria has continued to demonstrate a high level of commitment toward the full operationalisation of a pan-African free trade area.

It will create a single market for goods and services, liberalise and facilitate the movement of investment and business people across the continent.

On 7 July, 2019, Nigeria signed the AfCFTA agreement in Niamey during the 12th Extraordinary session of the Assembly and launch of the operational phase of the trade deal.

The country ratified its membership of the AfCFTA on 11 November, 2020.

The presidential aide stated that Mr Buhari would be accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; Minister of Defence, Bashir Magashi and Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo.

Others in the president’s entourage include; the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed; the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno and the Director-General, National Intelligence Agency, Ahmed Rufai.

The president will return to the country on Friday.



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