President Muhammadu Buhari will be departing Nigeria for China on Friday, August 31, to participate in the 7th Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) scheduled to hold September 3 – 4, 2018 in Beijing.
The President’s first engagement in the country will be an interactive session with the Nigerian Community in China at the Nigerian Embassy.
According to a statement issued by the President’s spokesman, Femi Adesina, the President will deliver his remarks as the current chair of ECOWAS at the “High-level Dialogue between Chinese and African leaders, business representatives and African entrepreneurs”.
The Nigerian President is scheduled to join President Jinping and other African leaders for the opening and roundtable sessions of the 2018 FOCAC Beijing Summit under the theme: “Towards an even Stronger China-Africa Community with a Shared Future.”
After the FOCAC Summit, President Buhari will hold bilateral meetings with President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Li Keqiang to discuss infrastructure financing for strategic projects in Nigeria and the upgrading of Nigeria-China relations “from a strategic partnership to comprehensive strategic partnership.”
Buhari will also use the occasion of his audience with the Chinese leadership to assess the progress made so far in Chinese interventions in Nigeria’s key priority infrastructure projects, particularly on-going projects in the railway and power sectors.
“It is noteworthy that since the last FOCAC VI Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa in December 2015 – the first attended by the Nigerian leader – and his successful State visit to China in April 2016, the current administration has pushed forward practical cooperation with China in the areas of infrastructure construction, trade, investments, finance, power, agriculture, education cooperation, among others.
“It would be recalled that President Buhari has consistently acknowledged Chinese support for infrastructure development in Nigeria.
“In January 2018 while receiving the Board of Directors of the Nigeria Economic Summit Group, the President said:
President Buhari commended the Chinese government for its support to the country, especially in infrastructural projects.
‘‘We send our gratitude to the Chinese for all their support to Nigeria. Since independence, no country has helped our country on infrastructural development like the Chinese. In some projects, the Chinese help us with 85 per cent payment, and soft loans that span 20 years. No country has done that for us.’’
He will be accompanied to Beijing by his wife, Aisha, who is scheduled to participate in a Spouses’ Programme on China-Africa at the Great Hall of the People, under the theme, ‘‘Joining Hands for a Future of AIDS.’’
Also on the President’s entourage are:
Governor Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar of Bauchi State
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State
Governor Mohammed Badaru Abubakar of Jigawa State
Governor Rochas Anayo Okorocha of Imo States
The Senators are:
Senator Abdullahi Adamu of Nasarawa State
Senator George Akume of Benue State
Senator Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State
Senator Aliyu Wamakko of Sokoto State
The Minsiters are:
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama
Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi
Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola
Minister of FCT, Muhammad Bello
Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah
Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma
Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu
Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu
Minister of State, Aviation, Hadi Sirika
The National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno;
The Director-General, National Intelligence Agency, Ahmed Abubakar;
The Group Managing Director, NNPC, Maikanti Baru.