Buhari returns to Abuja after state visit to Portugal


President Muhammadu Buhari On Saturday evening, he returned to Abuja after a five-day state visit to Lisbon, Portugal, where Nigeria and the European nation signed a memorandum of understanding in various sectors.

While in Lisbon, the Nigerian leader held several bilateral engagements which culminated in the signing of agreements and memorandums of understanding between Nigeria and Portugal.

The memorandums of understanding signed relate to political consultations, diplomatic training, research and the exchange of information and documentation.

Cooperation in the field of Culture; Cooperation in the field of development, empowerment and gender issues of women and girls; Youth and sports were also part of the cooperation.

President Buhari previously met with representatives of Nigerians living in Portugal on Wednesday evening where he again warned Nigerians abroad against using social media to insult and incite safe and anonymous distance.

Mr. Buhari instead urged them to always promote the unity of Nigeria.

According to the president, social media can be a force for good, as well as a force for evil. He urged all Nigerian citizens to use social media for the general good of society.

Also on Thursday in Lisbon, Buhari called for an increase in the volume of trade with Portugal as well as diversification into non-oil products.

The President made the call during a seminar between companies from Nigeria and Portugal.

According to the Nigerian leader, the two countries are in dire need of new investment opportunities following the devastation of global economies caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and lately the impact of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.

President Buhari also expressed Nigeria’s willingness to fill the natural gas gaps in Europe due to the ongoing Russian-Ukrainian war.

Also on June 30, the President approved the reappointment of Patience Oniha as Director General of the Debt Management Office (DMO) for a second term of 5 years.

The President met on Friday with Carlos Moedas, Mayor of Lisbon and members of the City Council, where he expressed his gratitude and appreciation for welcoming Nigerians and those fleeing the war in Ukraine.

Mr Buhari also took the opportunity to congratulate him and his party on their electoral victory and his emergence as mayor of Lisbon.

The president’s media assistant, Garba Shehu, said in a statement that the Nigerian leader thanked Carlis Moedas for graciously hosting the Nigerian delegation in the “beautiful and historic coastal city of Lisbon”.

President Buhari also pledged Nigeria’s commitment to reducing marine plastic pollution from land-based sources and activities.

The president gave the assurance in a speech delivered on his behalf by Minister of State for the Environment Sharon Ikeazor at the 2022 United Nations Ocean Conference in Lisbon, Portugal on Friday.

While highlighting Nigeria’s efforts to ensure the health and sustainability of the oceans, seas and marine resources, Mr Buhari said that a national policy on plastic pollution and the roadmap to tackle waste management solid and plastic had been formulated and established.

Mr Buhari, who praised the UN for spearheading the process of effective ocean governance, said Nigeria had mainstreamed ocean management into the economy, by forming a presidential committee on sustainable blue economy.

He also announced that Nigeria had embarked on the creation of two marine protected areas.

Furthermore, the Permanent Secretary, State House, Abuja, Tijjani Umar, revealed on July 1 that President Muhammadu Buhari will inaugurate the new Presidential Wing of the State House Clinic in December.

Mr. Umar, who made it known during the State House SERVICOM Unit Awards for the Year 2021 in Abuja, revealed that the construction works of the proper health facility had already reached 75% completion.

According to him, the multi-billion naira medical facility will be one of the legacies the Buhari administration will leave to incoming administrations in the country.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that before leaving for Lisbon on Tuesday, the President held formal engagements including the swearing in of Justice Olukayode Ariwoola as Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) June 27.

The swearing in of Mr Ariwoola, the second most senior in the Supreme Court hierarchy, as the new CJN, followed the resignation of Justice Tanko Muhammed for health reasons.

On the same day, the President also met with Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo, who briefed him on security and socio-economic developments in the state.

Uzodinma, who later spoke to State House correspondents, said he took the opportunity of the meeting to thank the president for approving the organization of the Memorial Day observance of the armed forces this year in Imo.

The governor, who also responded to a recent call from Governor Bello Matagall of Zamfara asking his citizens to request firearms for self-protection, said such actions were unnecessary in Imo.

The president also granted a hearing to some APC senators on the outcome of the party’s primaries and its implications for the party.

Mr Buhari assured that the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) would support the post-primary healing process to ensure fairness, justice and unity ahead of the 2023 general election.

He said that complaints had been received from some members and that mechanisms had been put in place by the National Working Committee to address their concerns.


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