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Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has returned to Abuja after a four-day official visit to Paris, France, to attend the African Finance Summit.
Buhari left Abuja on Sunday and met with French President, Emmanuel Macron, and other world leaders at the event in Paris.
The summit focused on reviewing the African economy following shocks from the coronavirus pandemic and getting relief, especially from increased debt burden on countries.
Buhari was also said to have discussed the growing security threats in Sahel and Lake Chad region, political relations, and economic ties with Macron.
But Buhari landed at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport in Abuja this evening.
The President returns to the country amid calls for open grazing ban, restructuring, constitutional review, quest for judicial and local government autonomy, strike by members of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria, widespread violence, kidnappings, and killings in all parts of the country.
While in Paris, Presidential spokesperson, Garba Shehu, quoted Buhari to have said African countries need more vaccines to protect the majority of their citizens.
“It is in this vein that we solicit the support of the French government with its influence in the European Union to lend its voice to the efforts being made to mobilize additional resources for developing economies most especially Africa in order to strengthen the quantum of investments to our economies. This financial support should also be extended to the private sector,” he said.
The President urged European Union to encourage fair and equitable distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines in less developed countries, and promote the establishment of manufacturing facilities.
According to him, many African countries were already experiencing debt distress and the Debt Service Suspension by France and G-20 does not go far enough, adding that there was the need for more sustainable and affordable financing solutions, including debt relief and further debt restructuring.
On the Paris Agreement for Climate Change, President Buhari noted that African countries would need financial support for green energy investment and COP-26.
He said Nigeria will refocus on gas, while adopting a Strategic Revenue Growth Initiative.
On the theme of “Africa Private Sector — Reforms – Infrastructure’’, President said Public-Private Partnership (PPP) will be fully explored to ensure more precision in development, cutting down waste and reducing chances of corruption.
“The government intends to leverage on Public-Private Partnership to bolster its job creation and anti-corruption drive. In terms of job creation, Nigeria has an abundant labour force since 30.5 percent of its population is between the ages of 25 and 54.’’