The president of France, Francois Hollande, on Monday, September 14, gave a set of important promises to his Nigerian counterpart, Muhammadu Buhari.
Buhari yesterday arrived to Paris for a three-day visit to the French leader to discuss the issues of security, defence and economic relations.
Hollande, who hosted his quest at Elysee, noted countries should not single out terrorist groups saying that terrorism emerged from one and the same “ideology of death”. He specified the claim referring to Boko Haram and Islamic State, explaining that fighting the Nigerian dreaded sect is the same as fighting the IS.
According to Leadership, after the closed-door meeting between the two leaders, Hollande made significant statements during a joint press conference.
The French president promised his government would provide intelligence and equipment to the Multinational Joint Task Force (MJTF) to help the troops tackle insurgency.
The official also disclosed that during the conversation they had addressed issues bordering on new strategies of partnership that would enable Nigerian and its neigbours to restore peace in the area ravaged by Boko Haram insurgency.
“We’ll provide all of the support to the countries in the region which are affected by this cult and in Nigeria; we want to provide support and solidarity.”
Hollande praised his colleague for the effort in containing terrorism in Nigeria, in particular for moving the military command center to Maiduguri.
He also disclosed plans of France to invest €130million in the development of infrastructure in Nigeria.
“The Nigerian economy remains strong, so France wants to be doing business in the country.”
President Buhari on his part touched upon the issues of resources management, unemployment and infrastructure in Nigeria:
“We have to depend on France and the other G7 countries for support to fight piracy. Our next shopping list is going to G7in terms of intelligence and training.
“Another problem is the problem in the Gulf of Guinea, from Senegal to Angola; that area is endowed with resources like petroleum and other minerals but surrounded by piracy and theft. We are going to depend on France and G7 countries to flush these criminals out of the region.
“On Nigeria’s problems, more than 67 per cent of our youths and most of them under their youthful age are unemployed. We are finding the best way in agriculture and mining to address this before sophisticated infrastructure and security are provided. We want to make sure we feed ourselves and provide security before other things are also tackled.
“That is why we focus on agriculture and mining before other infrastructure, including electricity, is tackled.”
As President Buhari’s official stay in France continues, he is also set to hold talks with the business community in the country.