Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari is back in Abuja after a two-day official visit to the Kingdom of Morroco.
This is even as he has declared that Nigeria’s strongest selling point remains an “intellectually aggressive and economically ambitious” populace that always seeks self-improvement and self-actualization in any part of the world.
The trip which was at the instance of the Moroccan King Mohammed VI provided an opportunity for both countries to strengthen ties.
They expressed deep concerns about violent extremism, terrorism and the persistence of security threats in Africa just as they also affirmed their resolve to strengthen cooperation in efforts to combat radicalization in Africa and beyond.
In a joint communique issued after series of talks between President Buhari and host King Mohammed VI, the two Heads of State agreed to develop a partnership in the field of agriculture, particularly through the signing of Cooperation Agreement on vocational training and technical supervision.
On regional and international issues of mutual interest and concern, both leaders confirmed their willingness to consult and coordinate the positions of the two countries in regional and international organizations, including the African Union.
President Buhari congratulated his Majesty King Mohammed VI on Morocco’s election to the Peace and Security Council of the African Union.
He also congratulated His Majesty the King on the successful completion of his mandate as African Leader on Migration Issues, which culminated in the presentation of the African Agenda for Migration and the creation of the African Observatory on Migration.
The Moroccan King congratulated President Buhari on his leadership in the regional initiative against terrorism in the Lake Chad region and commended his efforts in the fight against corruption and his role as the African Union anti-corruption champion.
The two Heads of State, in the spirit of the holy month of Ramadan, underscored their commitment to moderation, tolerance and peaceful coexistence, as taught by Islam.
Meanwhile, Buhari has described Nigeria as an “intellectually aggressive and economically ambitious” populace that always seeks self-improvement and self-actualization in any part of the world.
He said in an audience with the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Morocco, Saadeddine Othmani, at the Royal Guest Palace, Monday.
The President Buhari Nigeria’s “visionary and resilient population’’ works hard to always position the country for more growth, fuelled by a largely youthful group that continually wants to contribute to development.
“Nigerians are intellectually aggressive and economically ambitious. I received some of our students here yesterday and I am really impressed with the zeal and fearlessness they exuded.
“In Nigeria we have a very young and aggressive population and we are working very hard to create the enabling and inclusive environment for their contributions to be better appreciated,” he said.
Buhari said his government is harnessing the human and material resources available in the country, especially in the educational and agricultural sectors, while seeking partnerships with countries that can explore the huge potentials in Nigeria.
He noted that Nigeria was already on the verge of an agricultural revolution as the importation of rice had been cut down by 90 per cent in 18 months.
“We need to do more to improve our statistics on food production and graciously, the weather has been auspicious in the last couple of years for agricultural growth. We are happy that through partnership with you and hard work the price of fertilizer is already down by 50 per cent,” he said.
On the three agreements signed during his visit, namely, Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline project, vocational training in agriculture and building of a chemical plant in Nigeria, the President assured the Prime Minister that they will receive appropriate attention.
“We have a huge gas reserve in Nigeria, and we should be known more for gas exploration than for crude oil. So, we are happy with the new partnership with Morocco,” he added.
In his remarks, the Prime Minister said his country had always been impressed by Nigeria’s intellectual zeal and strength, noting that “many Moroccans appreciate the intellectual contribution of Nigerians, especially in literary works.”
“Your visit to our country is historic and we are looking forward to more partnerships, especially among our universities, which would further consolidate our relationship,” Othman said.
President Buhari also met with the head of the Moroccan legislature, Habib El Malki and the President of the Advisers on Commerce, Ben Chemmas.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, In statement said, Buhari ended his two-day visit to the Kingdom of Morocco with a visit to the mausoleum where he laid wreaths on the tombs of past kings.
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