The Presidency has justified President Muhammadu Buhari’s recent visit to Turkey for the Third Turkey-Africa Partnership Summit, theme, ‘Enhanced Partnership for Common Development and Prosperity’.
In an article titled, ‘Takeaway From President Buhari’s Epic Visit To Turkey’, Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said before the trip, which was held December 16 to 19, Nigeria’s national strategy was laid out, based on strong optimism that the summit will work well for all the leaders.
The Presidency noted that Turkey is serious about working with Africa in a win-win relationship. It said the embrace of Turkey by Africa is a logical path to follow, given that the country had gone through the big economies in search of economic and national development, abandoned that process and became, on their own, the fastest growing economy in Europe. Yearly trade between Turkey and Africa was $5.5 billion in 2003. Today, it has risen to $26 billion.
It said: “Flowing from the meeting of leaders, the heads of our defence and security establishments were afforded long engagements with their Turkish counterparts. The meetings took time to reflect on what Nigeria needs to overcome the problem of insecurity. These issues revolved around the use of technology to fight crime, something that everyone is doing, and so why not Nigeria.”
“As we go into January next year, a team from the Turkish defence establishment is expected to be in Nigeria in the effort to advance discussions on the issue of military procurement.
“In the not-too-distant future, the administration of the Federal Capital Territory will be receiving the team of investors including the world-famous Ma’arif Foundation to be shown exact locations for the setting up of a five-star hotel and conference centre, schools and a world-class hospital.
“Three other companies have a strong interest in other areas, with the first in oil and gas, and from which a good outcome is expected by the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company, NNPC Mele Kyari and the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo. One of the other investors is coming with interest in the Abuja property market, real estate and the creative industry especially film making and another, with interest in the construction sector. This is the company that built Turkey’s famous undersea tunnel.
The Presidency added: “It is important to say that President Buhari was in Turkey on a special request by the Turkish President. By an earlier agreement, the number of African leaders at the four-yearly summit was rationalised to just 15, and leaders were chosen to attend as representatives of either the African Union or the elected leaders of sub-regional groups such as ECOWAS, the South African Development Community, SADC and the rest.
Each sub-regional leader presented a representative statement, and in the case of ECOWAS, it was President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana, its Chairman.
“No national statements were planned for, except for Nigeria where our President was given a special speaking opportunity.”
As to be expected, President Buhari used it to good effect, calling for increased support for Africa in fighting terrorism, vaccine equity and manufacture on the continent and for combined efforts to address the effects of climate change.
“The Nigerian delegation returned to Nigeria on a high note of expectation that this was true, a visit worth undertaking.”