President Muhamamdu Buhari arrived on Monday at Sochi International Airport, Russia, for a three-day inaugural Russia-Africa Summit and Economic Forum, which will focus on peace, security and development.
In a statement signed by his senior special assistant for media and publicity, Garba Shehu, he said: “The president’s plane touched the tarmac at about 23.25 (local time), and he is by the mayor of the City of Sochi, Anatoliy Nikolayevich Pakhomov and civil servants. ”
It said: “The Economic Forum and the Summit will be held on October 23 and 24, 2019, respectively, with four plenaries to be attended by more than thirty African heads of state and heads of government who confirmed participation, including the chair of the African Union and President of the Arab Republic of Egypt Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.
“The summit will be chaired by President Vladimir Putin, who will deliver a speech on Wednesday, and the chairman of the African Union.
“President Buhari and the Russian President will meet at the bilateral meeting of Nigeria and Russia on Wednesday 23 and the Nigerian leader will make a statement at the summit on Thursday 24 October 2019.
“Other participants in the summit that will show Russian interest and investment potential in Africa include businessmen, experts, investors, leaders of large sub-regional associations and organizations.
An African Business Forum, which will bring together African and Russian business leaders, will be held during the event to promote Russian investment in Africa and to promote African business interests in the host country. About 250 Nigerian business interests will participate in the forum.
“It’s important for this meeting to take place at this point,” says Garba Shehu.
‘All major nations are gaining importance in Africa. We now have US Africa Summit, India-Africa Summit, China-Africa Summit and Japan-Africa Summit, so Russia has signaled its interest in political, cultural and economic partnership.
‘Nigeria has had an excellent relationship with Russia over the years. We will not forget how the country helped us keep Nigeria as one during the civil war when some of our traditional allies left us.
“They have also been behind us in the fight against terrorism, Boko Haram and ISWA, and Russia has shown its capacity in gas production, a resource that Nigeria has great potential to exploit,” he added. .
Shehu said the summit will look at sustainable energy, mines and steel, infrastructure development in Africa, nuclear energy and trade and investment.
On security, the Senior Special Assistant said the meeting would propose a new security architecture that would be strongly driven by new technology.
President Buhari was accompanied by Governor Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State, Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State and Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State.
Others on the trip were: Foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyeama, Minister of Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo, Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite and Minister of State, Petroleum, Timipre Sylva.