By Ben Agande
ABUJA — President Muhammadu Buhari is presenting a 9-point demands to The Group of Seven (G7), an informal bloc of industrialized countries of the world. He arrived Munich, Germany, yesterday, to honour the invitation of the G7.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, in a statement from Germany, said President Buhari was armed with the “wish list” of Nigeria in line with the demand of the Group of Seven (G7) industrialized countries.
It will be recalled that immediately after Buhari’s victory at the presidential elections, the G7 requested the then President-elect to prepare a shopping list and come with it for their consideration in what is seen as an excellent goodwill gesture towards the new leader and the country.
Malam Garba Shehu in the statement said top on the list of the requests President Buhari will tender before the G7 leaders is the problem of security.
He quoted the president as saying that “we have a problem which they know.”
He quoted the President as saying that he had used every opportunity at his disposal ahead of this meeting to discuss the country’s needs with specific reference to terrorism and development needs at person-to-person meetings and phone conversations with some of the G7 leaders.
According to him, apart from terrorism, the president will also need the support of the industrialized nations in the area of economy, infrastructure, power and energy, and corruption. Other areas the president is asking for G7 meeting’s assistance include increased Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), enhanced transparency in elections, environment and good governance.
President Buhari had announced that the leaders of the industrialized nations have shown a preparedness to work with Nigeria to help the country out of her problems.
Meeting with world leaders
President Buhari will hold meetings on the sidelines with the host, German Chancellor Angela Merkel; the French President, Francois Hollande; Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper; the Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe and the World Bank President, Dr. Jim Yong Kim.
On his arrival in Munich, President Buhari, who was accompanied by Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State; former Governor Babatunde Fashola, Gen. A. Dambazau (rtd.) and the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Amb. Paul B. Lolo.was received by the Vice Minister-President of Bavaria, Mrs. Inge Aigner.
The statement added that “before leaving Munich for home tomorrow, President Buhari will hold bilateral talks with the Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany and Prime Minister Stephen Harper of Canada on the sidelines of the G-7 Outreach Programme.
“He is also expected to meet President Barack Obama, President Francois Hollande of France, Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain, and other G-7 leaders in the course of the Outreach Session and a working lunch at the Elmau Castle.”
Other invited Heads of State and international institutions who will join President Buhari at the working session with G-7 leaders tomorrow at Elmau include President Jacob Zuma of South Africa, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia, President Macky Sall of Senegal, President Beji Caid Essebsi of Tunisia and Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn of Ethiopia.
Others are Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi of Iraq, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Ban Ki Moon, the Secretary-General of the OECD, Mr. Angel Gurria, the Managing Director of the IMF, Mrs. Christine Largarde; the President of the World Bank, Dr. Jim Yong Kim; the Director-General of the International Labour Organistion, Mr. Guy Rider; the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Mrs. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma and the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation are also scheduled to participate in today’s Outreach Session with G-7 leaders.
The Group of Seven (G7) is an informal bloc of industrialized democracies comprising the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom. The group meets annually to discuss issues such as global economic governance, international security, and energy policy.
It will be recalled that after his victory, a letter of invitation to a meeting with the Group of seven (G7) countries in Europe and America was handed to him by the German Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Michael Zenner.
Zenner, who was at the Defence House in Abuja to felicitate with Buhari on his electoral victory, said that the letter of invitation was officially written and signed by the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel to Buhari.
Speaking to Journalists, Zenner said: “I am here to congratulate the President-Elect, Gen. Buhari on his election and handed over to him the letter from the German Chancellor inviting him to Germany.
“We have a very deep and intense relationship with Nigeria and there are lot of areas where we can deepen our relation and develop them further such as in the area of economy, energy among others.
“We have a bi-national commission with Nigeria and we are one of the countries with which Nigeria has this Bi-National Commission and it covers the whole range of political, economic and security areas. There are many areas in which we can move further and deepen our very close cooperation”.