President Muhammadu Buhari went to Japan to participate in the Seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD7), holding in Yokohama from Aug. 28 to Aug. 30.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) State House correspondent reports that Buhari left Abuja on Aug. 25.
A report posted by the president’s personal assistant on new media, Alhaji Bashir Ahmed, at about 1.25 p.m. showed Buhari with Gov. Samuel Ortom of Benue and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama.
Also in the pictorial report are the Nigerian Ambassador to Japan, Mr Mohammed Yisa, seen with Buhari at the president’s hotel in Yokohama.
An earlier statement by Mr Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, said Buhari’s participation in the conference would be his second, having attended TICAD6 in Nairobi, Kenya in August, 2016.
“With the theme: `Africa and Yokohama, Sharing Passion for the Future,’ the opening session of TICAD7 will be performed by the Japanese Prime Minister and host, Shinzo Abe,’’ said Adesina.
The presidential aide revealed that Buhari would deliver Nigeria’s statement during plenary three session when he would appraise Nigeria-Japan relations and takeaways from TICAD6.
He said the president would also attend a state banquet and honour the invitation of Emperor Naruhito to a tea reception at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo.
“In addition to a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Abe, the Nigerian president will also attend some side-events and meet chief executive officers of some Japanese companies with huge investments in Nigeria,’’ he added.
Formed in 1993, the now triennial TICAD, has been convened alternately in Japan and Africa since TICAD6.
According to the organisers, TICAD is the largest international conference held in Japan providing an open forum that generates innovative discussion among various stakeholders on African development.
Participants are drawn not only from African countries but also international organisations, private companies and civil society organisations involved in development.
TCAD7 is expected to focus on Africa’s economic transformation and improvements in business, environment and institutions through private investment and innovation.
It is also expected to focus on promotion of resilient and sustainable African society for human security and peace and stability in support of Africa’s domestic proactive efforts.
Nigeria has gained tremendously since its participation in TICAD6 at the highest level.
Japan had pledged 30 billion dollars investment for the future of Africa combined with the private sector and 10 billion dollars infrastructure investment as well as 500 million dollars for vocational training of 50,000 Africans.
Since the Nairobi Conference, the Japanese Government and companies have been active in supporting Nigeria’s agriculture, healthcare, electricity and youth empowerment. (NAN).