• Thursday, July 25, 2024
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Buhari, Renzi hold bilateral talks in Abuja, to partner on economy, security, agric

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday received Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi at the State House, Abuja, as both leaders sought to find common grounds for economic and security partnerships.

Welcoming the Italian leader, who is the first of Italian Prime Ministers to visit Nigeria, President Buhari said their discussions were focused on the development of the Nigerian petroleum resources as well as security trainings to help the country combat terrorism.

Renzi’s visit comes two days after the insurgents launched a deadly attack on Dalori, just outside Maiduguri, the Borno State capital. His visit is part of a two-day, three-nation tour of West Africa. Renzi departed for Ghana from Nigeria and he’s expected to round off his tour in Senegal.

Nigeria is currently facing a torrent of terrorism with the renewed bombings of cities in the North-East. While the country’s military is trying to curb the insurgency, Buhari embarked on a drive to source assistance, especially in the part of trainings and collaboration with world powers to help Nigeria defeat the Boko Haram group.

Speaking at a joint-press conference held at the foyer of the State House, Abuja, after the closed session, Buhari said: “We discussed majorly in terms of development of petroleum resources and supporting us with training and equipping our security forces to check illegal immigration.”

The President said bilateral discussions also included the need to prioritise agriculture in the face of falling prices of crude oil, which is Nigeria’s economic and export backbone.

“We discussed about agriculture, which is one of the areas we identify that will be a priority in face of dwindling oil prices,” Buhari said.

In his remarks, the Prime Minister said he came to Nigeria to highlight the common ideas and values that the two countries share, adding that his government had identified Nigeria, one of the world’s greatest a powers as a key ally in the war on terror and illegal migration.

He also promised to ensure improved cooperation with Nigeria in areas of security, energy, agriculture and small and medium scale ventures.

“Italy will improve cooperation with Nigeria in areas of security, energy, agriculture and small and medium enterprise,” the PM said, vowing to work with Nigeria and the global community to ensure a prompt dismantling of Boko Haram.