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President Buhari at the US-Africa Business Forum



Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari will leave Abuja on Saturday on an official working visit to the United States of America, on the invitation of President Donald Trump.


President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, in a statement in Abuja on Friday, said Buhari while in America would hold bilateral meeting with President Trump and a working lunch on April 30.


According to Adesina, the meeting is to discuss ways to enhance the strategic partnership between the two countries.


He said the meeting would also advance shared priorities, such as: promoting economic growth, fighting terrorism and other threats to peace and security.


“The meeting will further deepen the US-Nigeria relationship as the United States considers Nigeria’s economic growth, security and leadership in Africa to be critical aspects of their strategic partnership.


“Later in the day, President Buhari will meet with a group of business persons in agriculture and agro-processing, dairy and animal husbandry,’’ he added.


He said that ahead of the visit by the President, meetings had been scheduled on April 26 and 27, between senior Nigerian Government officials and executives of major US companies in the areas of agriculture, aviation and transportation.


He said that in the area of aviation, the Nigerian officials would be meeting with Boeing, the largest aircraft manufacturer in the world, on the National Carrier Project.


The presidential aide said: “On agriculture, they will meet with large equipment manufacturers with focus on harvesting and post harvesting equipment.


“In the area of transportation, the officials will meet with the GE-led consortium for the implementation of the interim phase of the narrow gauge rail concession.


“In the interim phase, a substantive concession agreement will be negotiated and finalized to provide the consortium the opportunity to invest an estimated $2bn, to modernize the rail line from Lagos to Kano (Western Line) and from Port Harcourt to Maiduguri (Eastern Line).


“During the meeting, the concession framework and the interim phase framework agreements are expected to be signed.’’


He further disclosed that Nigerian officials would also meet with US-EXIM Bank and the US Overseas Private Investment Corporation to explore competitive financing arrangements.


It is noteworthy that in 2017, Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment and the United States Department of Commerce signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to promote and encourage commercial and investment ties between Nigeria and the United States.


This is with initial focus on infrastructure, agriculture, digital economy, investment and regulatory reforms.

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