Economy

Buhari in France for African Finance Summit

Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari is in Paris attending the four-day African Finance Summit, hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron.

The summit is expected to focus on reviewing the African economy, following the COVID-19 pandemic, and getting relief, especially from the increased debt burden on countries, said Bashir Ahmad, an aide to the president.

The two leaders will discuss political relations, economic ties, climate change and a partnership in buoying the health sector, particularly in checking the spread of COVID-19, with more research and vaccines.

They are also expected to discuss growing security threats in the Sahel and Lake Chad region.

Yafalmata Modu, a resident of Mafoni in Maiduguri, was sceptical, saying that Buhari had travelled extensively abroad several times but nothing concrete had come out of the meetings.

However she was hopeful that the summit would result in positive proposals that would improve the country’s economy, especially as Nigerians were experiencing much hardship during pandemic.

Zara Alkali Umar, a resident of Damboa, said the president appeared to be taking positive action, but she believed he lacked “the spirit of supervision”.

However she hoped that on his return from France, having had the chance to meet major stakeholders in global financial institutions and some heads of state, he would take some action to guide economic growth and development in the country.

Goni Mallambe, a resident of Maiduguri, felt positive about the summit. He believed it would contribute to the development of Nigeria’s economy which, in turn, would improve the quality of lives and the wellbeing of individuals, all of whom had been affected by the pandemic.

But not everyone was as positive.

Malam Babagana Modu, a resident of Maiduguri, was opposed to the summit and described it as “deceitful”.

“The president and other prominent ministers have been travelling to various countries across the world to attend meetings but nothing has come of them and the poor are just as poor as they have always been. Many are indigent and impoverished. I fear those who attend such summits waste the country’s resources, take tea and come home with nothing to show for themselves or the country,” he said.

Professor Khalifa Dikwa, a public affairs analyst in Maiduguri, was also opposed to the summit, saying it was not important because it would not add any value to Africa or African lives.

“The summit is in favour of France,” he said.

Dikwa said the summit should not have been held in France because it was meant for the growth and development of countries in Africa.

“The summit should have been held in Addis Ababa, the headquarters of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, not in France.”

Dikwa believed the summit was “an attempt to rob Africa of its resources and wealth”.

He said African leaders should avoid the French government and develop their own methods to help themselves financially and economically.

Buhari is accompanied by Minister of Foreign Affairs Geoffrey Onyeama, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Trade and Investment Adeniyi Adebayo and Minister of Health Dr Osagie Ehanire. Babagana Monguno, the National Security Adviser, and Ahmed Rufai, the Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency, are also attending the summit.

The summit is expected to focus on reviewing the African economy, following the COVID-19 pandemic, and getting relief, especially from the increased debt burden on countries, said Bashir Ahmad, an aide to the president.

The two leaders will discuss political relations, economic ties, climate change and a partnership in buoying the health sector, particularly in checking the spread of COVID-19, with more research and vaccines.

They are also expected to discuss growing security threats in the Sahel and Lake Chad region.

Yafalmata Modu, a resident of Mafoni in Maiduguri, was sceptical, saying that Buhari had travelled extensively abroad several times but nothing concrete had come out of the meetings.

However she was hopeful that the summit would result in positive proposals that would improve the country’s economy, especially as Nigerians were experiencing much hardship during pandemic.

Zara Alkali Umar, a resident of Damboa, said the president appeared to be taking positive action, but she believed he lacked “the spirit of supervision”.

However she hoped that on his return from France, having had the chance to meet major stakeholders in global financial institutions and some heads of state, he would take some action to guide economic growth and development in the country.

Goni Mallambe, a resident of Maiduguri, felt positive about the summit. He believed it would contribute to the development of Nigeria’s economy which, in turn, would improve the quality of lives and the wellbeing of individuals, all of whom had been affected by the pandemic.

But not everyone was as positive.

Malam Babagana Modu, a resident of Maiduguri, was opposed to the summit and described it as “deceitful”.

“The president and other prominent ministers have been travelling to various countries across the world to attend meetings but nothing has come of them and the poor are just as poor as they have always been. Many are indigent and impoverished. I fear those who attend such summits waste the country’s resources, take tea and come home with nothing to show for themselves or the country,” he said.

Professor Khalifa Dikwa, a public affairs analyst in Maiduguri, was also opposed to the summit, saying it was not important because it would not add any value to Africa or African lives.

“The summit is in favour of France,” he said.

Dikwa said the summit should not have been held in France because it was meant for the growth and development of countries in Africa.

“The summit should have been held in Addis Ababa, the headquarters of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, not in France.”

Dikwa believed the summit was “an attempt to rob Africa of its resources and wealth”.

He said African leaders should avoid the French government and develop their own methods to help themselves financially and economically.

Buhari is accompanied by Minister of Foreign Affairs Geoffrey Onyeama, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Trade and Investment Adeniyi Adebayo and Minister of Health Dr Osagie Ehanire. Babagana Monguno, the National Security Adviser, and Ahmed Rufai, the Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency, are also attending the summit.

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