169 Views

10 Consequences Of President Buhari’s Visit To Belgium – Shehu Garba

Shehu Garba, the Senior Special Assistant to President Buhari on Media and Publicity, in this article, enumerates the ten benefits of President Buhari’s three day official visit to Belgium last week. President Muhammadu Buhari returned to the country after a three-day intensely busy State Visit to Germany which, as is usual with his foreign engagements, was characterized by punishing schedules.  Read below:

Unfortunately, an important trip such as this one planned to boost trade and investment, enhance security partnership and pitch the country to eager investors became overshadowed by public outcry over some remarks President Muhammadu Buhari made in Germany, which have sadly been misconstrued by the media and some members of the public.

I can assure you that President Buhari’s sense of humor is one of his most distinguishing characteristics, despite his stern mien.
His comments clearly do not reflect his attitude towards women, a number of whom he has appointed into key positions in his administration, neither do they reflect his attitude towards his wife, Hajiya Aisha, as anyone can see from their history together.
President Buhari has been an invaluable support to his wife, and I know that he has great plans for every Nigerian woman. Five of his daughters have acquired university degrees. One of them just finished law school and another one undertakes a higher degree program.
I hope that all well-meaning Nigerians will put an end to the unfair insinuations that have been generated by President Buhari’s jocularity. Seeing a well-meaning leader being so misunderstood is painful for me. Let us hope that God continues to give him the grace and wisdom he requires to steer Nigeria through this difficult time in our country’s history.
In the course of this historic visit, he held formal talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel, a roundtable with the German President Joachim Gauck, a meeting with business leaders and an interactive session with Nigerians resident in Europe. A number of side, but equally important meetings were dotted in-between these.
Three big-ticket items on President Buhari’s Berlin agenda were security, trade and investment, climate change and its consequences for the Nigerian eco-space. A breakthrough was achieved in all areas covered by the discussions.
Bilateral relations:
Chancellor Merkel was the first leader of a major economic power in the world to have foreseen what a Muhammadu Buhari administration would mean to Nigeria, Africa and the world. As Chairperson of the “G 7” group of industrialized nations, she extended a hand of fellowship to him upon his victory in the 2015 elections. She asked him to be ready with his wish list and be present at the G 7 meeting to brief its leaders.
Since that time, there had been a big demand for President Buhari all over the world, a demand that our officials in Foreign Affairs insisted must be cashed on or else we missed the opportunity.
President Gauck came here in February at the head of a business delegation, a visit that pushed the existing relations up by several notches as manifested by the setting up of a one-stop investment center to facilitate foreign investment and partnerships.
Germany has also proposed a twining of two cities, Lagos and Frankfurt to facilitate the sharing of experience, meeting of businesses, trade and investment as well as exchange of visits by officials.
In the course of the visit by President Gauck, a pledge by the EU to spend fifty million Euro (€50 m.) against terrorism in the Lake Chad basin area was announced.
President Buhari’s state visit brought closer the relationship between Nigeria and Germany in addition to breakthroughs in several areas of negotiations.
Business/Investments.
The other key success area is investment. The President and his team held a highly successful business forum which had in attendance over 100 Nigerian and German business leaders with interests in industries across Manufacturing, Information Technology, Healthcare, Construction, Training, Agro processing, Power, Mining and Consumer businesses
In a speech at the meeting, President Muhammadu Buhari decried the current low level of trade and investment between both countries and Nigeria’s openness for business and long-term investment from Germany. He highlighted the steady work of renewal that has started in the country and the progress that is being recorded in the government’s pillars of security, governance and the economy.
He also presented a strong case on Nigeria’s compelling fundamentals and stated the priority sectors of the government in which investments are being sought as being Agriculture, Industrialization, Solid Minerals, Digital Economy and Infrastructure, especially power generation.
The biggest gypsum producer in the world has already obtained an exploration license for the mineral and is looking to commence local production in Nigeria. A well-known consumer brand with over 50,000 employees worldwide is considering production of its laundry detergent locally. The company has already invested $250 million locally, with 900 employees. The transition to local production will significantly increase the number of Nigerians employed.
A Nigerian-based pharmaceutical company in partnership with a German conglomerate is also to commence a renal testing business in Nigeria before the end of the year
Finance:
The President stated that the Nigerian Development Bank will soon commence operations to help provide additional funding to the Small and Medium-Scale Enterprises (SMEs). As a large contributor to the economy, funding to the SMEs will help spur inclusive economic growth. He thereafter charged government officials and the business community to enhance the process of achieving tangible results that are mutually beneficial to both countries.
Economic relations:
A significant takeaway from the Presidential engagement in Germany is the agreement to give vocational skills training to thousands of our youth.
Germany is always known to be a strong developer of apprentice skills. In addition to their reputation for quality education, the distinguishing feature of the German economy is that emphasis on skill development.
What President Buhari got from this trip is a commitment by Germany to share with Nigeria their skills in agriculture, IT, telecommunications, machinery, aviation, vehicles, healthcare, construction and so forth.
As part of the steps towards imparting the vocational skills, there will be collaboration between the German Engineering Federation (VDMA) and a Nigerian conglomerate to build a technical school for artisans. The school will train Nigerians for three years, of which 50percent of the time will be spent in the school and the remaining 50percent of the time spent gaining practical experience. This model will be scaled up for the other parts of the country based on the success of this cooperation.
Agriculture:
Nigeria and Germany had useful discussions on a program of food processing locally, rice and oil milling with the aim of leavening that country’s experience in a new plan by the administration to create wealth in rural communities.
There also plans for a financing fund for agriculture in Nigeria to assist small and medium size entrepreneurs and cooperatives in the agricultural sector.
Energy/Power:
A renewable power company with advanced and affordable solar technologies is going to commence operations in Nigeria. The company is headed by a Nigerian and have commenced the ground-work to commence operations early next year.
Following the MOU at the Bi-national Commission, agreements were also struck for energy partnership in renewable energy. Several states characterized by hot weather, mostly in North have signed for solar Independent Power Project, IPPs. A 30 Megawatt power plant is coming up in Adamawa while Bauchi, Benue, Gombe, Kano, Kaduna, Sokoto, Katsina and some others are on the queue.
Security:
Germany has offered Nigeria support in the war against terrorism with mine detectors, radar equipment and a field hospital.
Chancellor Merkel also pledged increased involvement of Germany in supporting Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs and the reconstruction of their destroyed communities.
Immigration:
Another key area of cooperation is immigration.
There are thousands of illegal immigrants from Nigeria currently in Germany. On their records, 20,000 Nigerians enter their country each year. This is a sore issue for Germany. Of these numbers, only about nine percent of those who enter clandestinely qualify for legal asylum. To deal with the issue, they have indicated to Nigeria their willingness to train all prospective deportees in skills they can use back at home. In addition to this, two other Nigerians will be given free vocational training for every one deported illegal immigrant.
Climate Change:
President Buhari never missed an opportunity to make a pitch for the recharging of the Lake Chad, now only ten percent of its original size, whenever he met the leaders of rich countries.
He has been persuaded a long time ago that the best way to save the lake Chad and the people who inhabit its basin from the corrosive effect of climatic change is to divert water from the Congo Basin to the Lake Chad.
A study financed by Nigeria indicated that USD 15 Billion will be needed to do this but it is the kind of money that neither this country nor its neighbors can muster.
Having successfully established that the climate change has a lot to do with the drastic decline of livelihoods in the area and is at the root cause of the Boko Haram insurgency, the President is convinced that recharging the Lake is no longer the sole business of the Lake Chad Basin countries but that of the wider world.
Given her commitment to saving the environment, Chancellor Merkel had shown keenness in the project and is willing to be a part of the effort.
Her reported earmarking of €18 billion for the project was misconstrued from her speech. After a repeated playback of the speech, the same conclusions were unfortunately drawn. Angela Merkel’s commitment is however to the tune of €18 million on the Nigerian side and the rest €32 million to the rest of the Lake Chad basin countries, with all of the money coming from the European Fund. Nevertheless eighteen Million to support ongoing efforts in the North East is still a mouthwatering amount.
New and Pending Issues.
The Nigerian delegation also had useful discussions on road and rail development, gas exploration, equipment and surveillance for the protection of oil and gas infrastructure in Niger Delta, upgrading of Defense Industries Corporation, DICON, cooperation in rule of law and polio eradication.
Last but not the least, the President used a moment of his time in Germany to act his role a Commander-in-Chief by paying a visit to a recuperating army officer injured in the course of duty in the North East.

Get the best viral stories straight into your inbox!

Don't worry, we don't spam

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Latest Posts

Chude Jideonwo Covers Latest Issue of The Guardian Life Magazine
Entertainment
15 views
Entertainment
15 views

Chude Jideonwo Covers Latest Issue of The Guardian Life Magazine

PH - April 23, 2018

Joy, Inc. founder, Chude Jideonwo is on the cover of this Sunday’s edition of The Guardian Life magazine. Tagged ‘The harbinger of joy’, in the issue Chude…

Miracle Named Winner Of BBNaija 2018
Entertainment
26 views
Entertainment
26 views

Miracle Named Winner Of BBNaija 2018

PH - April 23, 2018

Miracle has emerged the winner of the Nigeria’s biggest reality TV show, Big Brother Naija, BBNaija which started since January 28, with 20 housemates. Miracle will be…

Divine Oduduru Breaks 14-Year-Old School Record In America
Best of Nigeria
21 views
Best of Nigeria
21 views

Divine Oduduru Breaks 14-Year-Old School Record In America

PH - April 23, 2018

On Saturday, Texas Tech University’s sprinter, Divine Oduduru, ran a new personal best of 10.10secs to break the 14-year-old school record in the event at the Michael…

European Investment Bank Partners With AfDB To Support Private Sector Investment In Nigeria
Business
98 views2
Business
98 views2

European Investment Bank Partners With AfDB To Support Private Sector Investment In Nigeria

PH - April 22, 2018

The European Investment Bank and the African Development Bank have agreed to support the creation of the new Development Bank of Nigeria to strengthen lending for business…

Telecoms VAS Market Hits $200m In Nigeria
Business
83 views
Business
83 views

Telecoms VAS Market Hits $200m In Nigeria

PH - April 22, 2018

The Value Added Services (VAS), segment of the telecom market in Nigeria has recorded the sum of $200 million revenue as at first quarter this year, Prof.…

#BBNaija: Why Cee-C Is Bbetter Than President Buhari – Reno Omokri
Entertainment
117 views
Entertainment
117 views

#BBNaija: Why Cee-C Is Bbetter Than President Buhari – Reno Omokri

PH - April 21, 2018

Former aide to Ex-President, Goodluck Jonathan, Reno Omokri,in his latest shade on President Buhari has mentioned that a housemate on the Big Brother Naija 2018 reality TV…

Why I Didn’t Do Well At Chelsea – Liverpool Star, Mohamed Salah
Sports
152 views
Sports
152 views

Why I Didn’t Do Well At Chelsea – Liverpool Star, Mohamed Salah

MT - April 20, 2018

While speaking in an exclusive interview ahead of Liverpool’s clash at West Brom on Saturday, on Sky Sports Premier League, Mohammed Salah admitted that he is focusing on…

“Why Soldiers Burnt Houses In Benue State” – Army Spokesperson
Shocking
162 views
Shocking
162 views

“Why Soldiers Burnt Houses In Benue State” – Army Spokesperson

MT - April 20, 2018

The Nigerian army has taken responsibility for the attack, which resulted in burning down of houses in a Benue community on Thursday. The Army said the attack…

Meet Vivian Chiologi, John Shittu’s Wife Who Got Married At 50, Gave Birth At 51
Best of Nigeria
181 views
Best of Nigeria
181 views

Meet Vivian Chiologi, John Shittu’s Wife Who Got Married At 50, Gave Birth At 51

MT - April 20, 2018

My darling Viv, today I celebrate you and I thank God for your life and strength. What a testimony your life has become. You met and fell…

Lazy Youths: Why Buhari Should Apologize And Be Forgiven – Shehu Sani
Politics
140 views
Politics
140 views

Lazy Youths: Why Buhari Should Apologize And Be Forgiven – Shehu Sani

MT - April 20, 2018

SHEHU Sani, Senator representing Kaduna Central, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to apologize over his remarks about Nigerian Youths. While answering a question at the Commonwealth Business…

19-Year-Old Udeh Precious Wins 2018 Sisi Oge Cultural Pageant (Photos)
Best of Nigeria
147 views
Best of Nigeria
147 views

19-Year-Old Udeh Precious Wins 2018 Sisi Oge Cultural Pageant (Photos)

MT - April 20, 2018

19 year old Miss Udeh Precious has emerge winner of the 2018 Sisi Oge Cultural Pageant. The actress and model beat 19 other contestants in the competition…

Nigeria Uninterruptible Power Supply To Reach 4.7% In 2024
Business
131 views
Business
131 views

Nigeria Uninterruptible Power Supply To Reach 4.7% In 2024

PH - April 20, 2018

Nigeria Vision 20:2020 is set to be a major development plan for the country to accelerate growth of commercial and industrial sectors over the coming years. Further,…

Nigeria’s Brent Crude Hits $73.79 per Barrel
Business
137 views
Business
137 views

Nigeria’s Brent Crude Hits $73.79 per Barrel

PH - April 20, 2018

An improvement in Nigeria’s oil earnings is on course as prices held firm on Friday near three-year highs reached earlier this week as ongoing Organisation of Petroleum…

Debbie Rise’s Sister Tee-Rise Releases Gospel single “First Loved Me”
Entertainment
138 views
Entertainment
138 views

Debbie Rise’s Sister Tee-Rise Releases Gospel single “First Loved Me”

PH - April 20, 2018

Temilolu Olurishe also known as Tee-Rise is a young lady with a desire to express her worship to God in her songs while she helps others enjoy…

WATCH: Chimamanda Adichie Talks #MeToo, Feminism and Gay Rights on CNN
Best of Nigeria
134 views
Best of Nigeria
134 views

WATCH: Chimamanda Adichie Talks #MeToo, Feminism and Gay Rights on CNN

PH - April 20, 2018

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was on CNN to discuss the #MeToo movement, feminism, and rights of LGBT people with Christiane Amanpour. The writer who revealed earlier this week…

19-Year-Old Udeh Precious emerges Winner of the 2018 Sisi Oge Cultural Pageant
Art, History and Culture
125 views
Art, History and Culture
125 views

19-Year-Old Udeh Precious emerges Winner of the 2018 Sisi Oge Cultural Pageant

PH - April 20, 2018

The 19-year-old model, actress and show host, Udeh Precious, beat stiff competition from 19 other contestants to emerge winner of the 2018 Sisi Oge Cultural Pageant. Precious,…

BBNaija: Tobi Bakre Is Not A Lazy Nigerian Youth; Check Out His 5 Professions..
Best of Nigeria
130 views
Best of Nigeria
130 views

BBNaija: Tobi Bakre Is Not A Lazy Nigerian Youth; Check Out His 5 Professions..

MT - April 20, 2018

Shared Via IG With Caption .. Nigerians are one of the most resourceful and hardworking people in the world. From generation to generation, this has remained true.…

Veteran Actress, Ireti Doyle Shares How She Almost Lost A Job “For Being The Wrong Skin Colour”
Entertainment
123 views
Entertainment
123 views

Veteran Actress, Ireti Doyle Shares How She Almost Lost A Job “For Being The Wrong Skin Colour”

PH - April 20, 2018

Veteran actress Ireti Doyle, in a post on her Instagram page, is speaking about colorism. In her post, she details how she almost lost a major gig…

Loading...