Insecurity problems in West Africa, priority in the Sahel for Nigeria

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday night expressed his gratitude to Portugal for deploying weapons and training military personnel to ensure peace in the sub-region.

Speaking at a State Dinner at the Ajuda National Palace in the Portuguese capital, Lisbon, the President, in a statement by Presidential Spokesperson, Garba Shehu, praised President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa for having deployed troops for peacekeeping in the Central African Republic, monitored political developments and provided assistance to certain African countries, including Equatorial Guinea, Cape Verde and Mozambique.

President Buhari said at the dinner attended by Portuguese National Assembly Speaker Augusto Santos Silva and Prime Minister Antonio Costa that the Nigerian government has made it a priority to tackle the problem of insecurity in Nigeria, ECOWAS and the Sahel. Regions.

He added that it would not have been a success without Nigeria’s regional and global partners.

“The Boko Haram insurgency in northeastern Nigeria is being fought through the efforts of the government, as well as the Multinational Joint Task Force (MJTF) of member countries,” he said.

President Buhari expressed his optimism that his state visit will further enhance the goodwill and collaboration between the two countries.

He noted that the creation of a Joint Commission, which is one of the main priorities of the visit, would further promote the full realization of the objectives of the bilateral relations, the realization of concrete, specific and viable projects and programs for the benefit of the citizens of both countries.

”Today, Portugal imports around 60% of its gas from Nigeria, making it our second largest market in Europe.

”There is still more to do between the two countries, especially with the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine which has disrupted regular gas supplies to Europe.

“Furthermore, Nigeria wants to see trade diversify into non-oil products such as agriculture, power projects, renewable energy and pharmaceuticals where much could be achieved,” he said. declared.

The President underscored the need to revive the Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) and finalize all pending bilateral agreements to boost economic activities and the movement of people between the two countries.

President Buhari described Nigeria as one of the most attractive destinations for investment in Africa, adding that his government prioritizes creating an enabling business environment.

”Nigeria is part of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA) – the largest free trade area in the world. With a population of over 200 million, mostly young men and women, Nigeria is a natural and attractive hub for foreign investment and unique market access to over 50 countries.

The Nigerian leader welcomed the Business Forum organized during his visit and the signing of numerous memorandums of understanding between the investment promotion agencies and chambers of commerce of the two countries.

He described the signing of the agreements “as excellent bases for increased bilateral trade”.

President Buhari also commended his Portuguese counterpart for extending his country’s engagement with Africa and African issues beyond Portuguese-speaking countries.

“In this context, I would like to recall that in addition to giving its name to our old capital, Lagos, the Portuguese were the first Europeans to arrive in what later became Nigeria, even before the British.

“At that time, the Kingdom of Benin maintained diplomatic relations with the Kingdom of Portugal. The bodyguards of the Oba of Benin were sent from Portugal.

”Today there are streets in some states of Nigeria that still bear Portuguese names. This shows a long-standing strong bond between our two countries,” President Buhari said.