President Muhammadu Buhari has traveled to 21 countries in the last 10 months of his administration and his trip to the United States of America for a nuclear summit makes it his 25th time of jetting out for a personal or state affair according to a compilation made by the African Independent Television, AIT.
Buhari’s trips which are heavily motivated by Foreign Direct Investments haven’t been as fruitless as strong social media claims paint them to be. His foreign trips have been tagged as acts of ”globetrotting or junketing” gulping over $23 million thus far from the country’s treasury according to the People’s Democratic Party, PDP.
Here are some major breakthroughs from Buhari’s frequent trips abroad:
(1) China is set to invest $60 billion dollars in Nigeria and Africa:
During the China-Africa summit held in Johannesburg, South Africa attended by President Muhammadu Buhari in December, 2015, Chinese President Xi Jinping promised to invest $60 billion in Africa with Nigeria being the most populous nation in Africa benefiting immensely.
(2) China has also sought more crude oil exportation from Nigeria:
Following an agreement with Buhari at the China-Africa summit, China decided to ignore the emergence of Iran to buy more crude oil from Nigeria which will go a long way in boosting the country’s economy. This announcement was made by the Economic and Commercial Counsellor of the Chinese Embassy in Nigeria, Mr Zao LingXiang during an interview in Abuja in March, 2016.
(3) U.S.A has decided to buy more crude oil from Nigeria after suspending trade relations during the previous administration:
President Muhammadu Buhari has made two trips to the United States of America since his emergence. This helped in fixing the strained trade relationship between both countries under the Goodluck Ebele Jonathan administration during which the United States halted the buying of crude oil from Nigeria due to the high rate of corruption in the country. On the 24th of March, reports emerged that the U.S importation of Nigerian crude had jumped to 559,000 barrels per day.
(4) U.S.A is set to invest over $600 million in Nigeria this year:
This was announced by the Secretary of state, John Kerry during the opening session of the U.S – Nigeria Bi-National Commission meeting. This will be aimed at reducing the spread of Malaria, HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and other stringent issues affecting the country.
(5) U.S has pledged to assist Nigeria with concrete intelligence on the loot stashed abroad by corrupt former and current public office holders including the Boko Haram insurgency:
The United States of America is currently helping Nigeria with information on looted funds stashed abroad by corrupt politicians. This also extends to the status of the missing 219 Chibok girls and the progress of the Boko Haram sect. Most of this information hasn’t made the headlines due to their classified nature.
(6) Buhari’s Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) deal with Qatar:
Although, this has been trailed by criticisms due to the fact that Nigeria has no national carrier, the deal will pave way for direct flights between Nigeria and Qatar which will foster better economic relationship.
(7) Buhari signed a bilateral agreement with the United Arab Emirates which will ensure the repatriation of stolen funds hidden in Dubai:
Reports have shown that Dubai is the new destination for looted funds which are saved in financial institutions and also used in the acquisition of properties. Reports also have it that UAE authorities blocked a former governor from transferring his looted $517 million from the country to Dominican Republic in a bid to prevent its repatriation to Federal Government coffers. This will go a long way in recovering lost funds needed to boost the ailing Nigeria’s economy.
(8) Nigeria’s membership of the Saudi Arabia-led coalition of Muslim countries against terror (ISMAT):
Although this membership has been heavily criticised due to fears of Buhari islamizing Nigeria, it’s a good move just as Nigeria’s acceptance of the assistance of G-7 countries from the West on the same agenda. Any foreign help to make Boko Haram history should be exploited to make Nigeria and other neighbouring countries safe again after we have lost 20,000 people to terrorism as well as over 2 million Internally Displaced People.
Putting political, ethnic or religious affiliations aside, Buhari’s foreign trips have made a bold statement in the international scene. More returns are guaranteed if our economy can be set on course with the development of capital projects to make the country attractive to foreign investors.