An economic think tank group in Nigeria has reckoned that the clout and integrity of Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is the reason world leaders are visiting the country.
The Global Economic Policy Initiative (GEPIn) believes that the economic, trade, defence and security pacts agreed with both the UK and Germany further shows the confidence world leaders have in the present-day administration.
“To have two world leaders and members of the G7 visit Nigeria in one week is no small feat, it only shows the confidence that the British Prime Minister and the German Chancellor have in this government,” said Bernard Okri, chairman of the group based in Asaba, Delta state.
He noted that these were not just casual visits but visits that have boosted trade and security as well as create jobs in Nigeria.
“The Prime Minister of Britain assured of no less than 100,000 jobs and that is more than a statement of intent. They see the giant strides of the present-day government and want to associate with it.
Okri pointed out that the immediate past Prime Minister of UK, David Cameron once referred to Nigeria as “fantastically corrupt” but that is no longer the case.
“The anti-corruption war has yielded a lot of fruits and Nigeria which was once referred to as ‘fantastically corrupt’ has become fantastically less corrupt. Things are done by the books, people who hold lofty positions are persecuted and the rule of law is observed.
He pointed out that the German Chancellor also made it clear that she was not coming to Nigeria to discuss migration or repatriation.
“German Chancellor Angela Merkel made it clear that Nigeria is now considered a reliable international partner and want to discuss economic issues.
“This is a pointer to how strategically important Nigeria has become globally and why the world leaders want to partner with us.
He is optimistic that Nigeria will be a bigger force to reckon with if President Buhari and Vice President Osinbajo is allowed to continue in office.
“For me it’s a no-brainer that they continue the good work. We need Nigeria’s democracy to be enviable across the world, we want people-oriented leaders, we want leaders that can diversify our economy and reduce the reliance on crude oil and that is what this government has done,” he said.
He explained that the bilateral agreements signed between Nigeria and the UK includes, “The launch of a £13 million education programme that will provide training for teachers, school equipment, and security for schools, for 100,000 children living in parts of the Northeast affected by Boko Haram.”
“Roll out a new crisis response mechanism for Nigeria, similar to the UK’s Cabinet Office Briefing Rooms (COBR) system.”
“A framework to strengthen policing, reduce piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, tackle organized crime, and tackle corruption.”
“Establishment of a new civil asset recovery task force will help Nigeria recover stolen assets held in Britain and stop criminals from using the UK as a safe haven for the proceeds of corruption.”
“Establishment of an enhanced human rights dialogue to ensure that collaborative efforts by both countries are in line with international human rights protocols,”
“Establishment of a regular forum for UK and Nigerian Ministers to meet and discuss solutions and responses to common security challenges and priorities.