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Buhari Returns to Abuja after Four-day Visit to France


Buhari Returns to Abuja after Four-day Visit to France

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By Deji Elumoye

President Muhammadu Buhari Thursday returned to Abuja from a four-day visit to Paris, France, where he attended the African Finance Summit.

The presidential aircraft, Air Force One, conveying the president and some of his aides, landed at the Presidential Wing of Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja at about 3.52 pm.

On hand to receive him at the airport were his Chief of Staff (CoS), Prof. Ibrahim Gambari; Acting Inspector General of Police (IG), Usman Alkali Baba; and the Director-General of Department of State Services (DSS), Yusuf Bichi, among other top government officials.

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The president left the Nigerian shores for Paris, the French capital, last Sunday and was accompanied by some ministers and top aides.

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While in Paris, President Buhari participated in the Financing Africa Summit, held at Grande Palais Ephemere on Tuesday, with the theme: “External Financing and debt Treatment”.

The president also engaged in various bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the summit.

At the opening of the summit on Tuesday, the president called on European countries and global financial institutions to consider reducing the devastating effects of COVID-19 pandemic on African economies by restructuring debt portfolios and providing complete debt relief.

He observed that many African countries were already experiencing debt distress and the debt service suspension by France and the G-20 was not far-reaching enough.

He also stressed the need for more sustainable and affordable financing solutions, including debt relief and further debt restructuring.

On Wednesday, the president and his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, engaged in bilateral talks, where they both agreed to cooperate in fighting insecurity.

The two leaders expressed the countries’ commitment to working together to fight insecurity bedevilling the Lake Chad basin area and the entire Sahel region.

Macron, who hosted the Nigerian leader on the margins of the Financing Africa Summit in Paris, pledged his unflinching support for Nigeria and its people regarding the security challenges currently facing the country.

He also met with some investors, including the Chairman/CEO of Total, Patrick Pouyanne; Executive Vice-President, AirBus, Silvere Delaunay; and Chairman of the Board of a software company, Daussault Systems, Florence Verzelen.

Others were Chairman/CEO of General Engineering and Marketing of Telecommunications Operator, Francois-Regis Teze and Chairman/CEO, Donaflex Automotive, Dr Donatus Nwokoye, a very successful manufacturer.

The Nigerian leader urged the investors to further explore the vast opportunities of human and natural resources in Nigeria.

Buhari’s last official engagement in Paris was the interactive session with some Nigerians in France, where he assured them of his administration’s commitment to free and fair elections in the country.

According to him, the bedrock of democracy remains the sustenance of the multi-party structure, with trust from citizens.

Source: https://www.thisdaylive.com/index.php/2021/05/20/buhari-returns-to-abuja-after-four-day-visit-to-france/

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