President Muhammadu Buhari departed Abuja for Morocco on Sunday, June 10, 2018, for an official working visit to mark the beginning of his presidential villa activities for the week.
In Rabat, President Buhari witnessed the signing of three agreements aimed at strengthening economic relations between Nigeria and Morocco.
The agreements included that of a regional gas pipeline that would see Nigeria providing gas to countries in the West African sub-region that extends to Morocco and Europe.
According to Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President, Media and Publicity, the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority, Mr Uche Orji and the Chief Executive Officer of the Office of the Management of Phosphate in Morocco, Mr Mostafa Terrab, also signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the development of a chemical plant in Nigeria for producing ammonia and its derivatives.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh and his Moroccan counterpart, Mr. Aziz Akhannouch, signed a cooperation agreement on vocational training and technical supervision, which will enhance skills on better management of agricultural outfits in Nigeria.
The visit of President Buhari to Morocco continued on Monday, June 11, with a meeting with the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Morocco, Saadeddine Othmani.
Buhari told his host 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 President was reported to have said: “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.”
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 two-day visit to the Kingdom of Morocco ended with the President visiting the mausoleum where he laid wreaths on the tombs of past kings.
The Vice President Yemi Osinbajo commenced his own activities for the week on Monday, June 11, when he declared open the extraordinary session of the Council of Ministers of African Petroleum Producers Organisation (APPO) held at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.
In his address at the event, the Vice President urged African oil producers to invest more in human capital development, noting that it is the future of the continent’s development.
Later on Monday, the Vice President inaugurated the Advisory Group on Technology and Creativity as a part of Industrial Policy and Competitiveness Advisory Council.
In his remark, Prof. Osinbajo said technology and creative sectors contribute a great deal in terms of employment and have contributed enormously to boosting Nigeria’s global profile.
Though Nigeria is still ranked at 134 in ICT development, Prof. Osinbajo said, “the creative sector still contributes just over 1.4 per cent to GDP, stressing that, “the contribution of the technology and creative sectors go beyond macro-economic benefits to the advancement of Nigeria’s young working population and preparing them for the digital future which, indeed, is already here.”
On Tuesday, June 12, 2018, President Buhari, at Special National Honours Investiture ceremony, decorated Chief MKO Abiola, the presumed winner of the June 12, 1993 elections, with the Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (GCFR), posthumously.
Civil and human rights activist, Chief Gani Fawehinmi, SAN, was also honoured posthumously with Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON) in recognition of his contribution to democracy in Nigeria.
Ambassador Babagana Kingibe, Abiola’s running mate in the 1993 annulled election was also decorated with GCON.
In his remarks at the event, President Buhari said: “On behalf of the Federal Government, I tender the nation’s apology to the family of Late MKO Abiola, who got the highest votes and to those that lost their loved ones in the cause of June 12 struggle.
“At this juncture, Ladies and Gentlemen, I would like everybody present to stand and observe a minute silence in honour of the memory of Chief MKO Abiola and Chief Fawehinmi and indeed all those who lost their lives in the struggle of June 12 1993.”
Earlier, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha had announced that more heroes of the democracy in the country will be honoured.
He announced that the investiture of Chief Agunwa Anekwe, former Speaker, House of Representatives in the third republic, Senators Iyorchia Ayu and Ameh Ebute, former Senate Presidents in the third republic will take place at a later date.
On Tuesday evening, President Buhari hosted members of the diplomatic corps to Ramadan Iftar. Speaking at the event, the President said his government is making every effort to bring insurgency to a complete end.
Buhari said his administration would continue to collaborate with Nigeria’s neighbours under the multilateral Joint Task Force to curtail the movement and operations of terrorists across borders, adding that since inception his government had made frantic effort to contain the Boko Haram insurgency which bedeviled the country.
Later, the President met behind closed doors with state governors elected on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress.
Those who attended the meeting with the President included the governors of Adamawa, Edo, Imo, Kwara, Kebbi, Kano, Katsina, Benue, Ogun, Jigawa, Kogi and Kaduna states.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo joined President Muhammadu Buhari and other dignitaries at the investiture ceremony for June 12 heroes (MKO Abiola, Babgana Kingibe and Gani Fawehinmi), at the State House Conference Centre, Abuja on Tuesday.
President Buhari presided over a meeting of the Federal Executive Council on Wednesday, June 13.
At the end of the meeting, Mr Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President (Media & Publicity), said President Buhari will sign the 2018 appropriation bill next week.
Also briefing State House Correspondents, the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, announced that FEC had approved the payment of N500 million to the lawyers that worked for the government to reach a settlement of N330 billion with MTN Nigeria Limited.
Malami said $320 million had been repatriated back to the country after Nigeria reached an agreement with Switzerland during a trip to Washington DC last December.
Osinbajo also joined President Buhari and other cabinet ministers for the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting at the Council Chambers, Abuja on Wednesday, June 13.
Also on Wednesday, the Vice President met with the Presidential Communications Team to discuss issues bothering on scaling up communication activities especially as it concerned government projects and programmes.
On Thursday, June 14, President Buhari congratulated Muslims on completion of the Ramadan fasting period.
In his Sallah message to mark the end of the Ramadan fasting period, President Buhari stressed the importance of putting the virtues of Islam into practice beyond the fasting season.
According to the President, “religion should be the moral compass for all believers in their public and personal lives,” adding that “if people allow the teachings of their religions to influence their conducts, problems such as corruption, which diverts public funds to private pockets, would have been eliminated in the society.”
Earlier on Thursday, the President received the outgoing Ambassadors of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, and Republic of Turkey at the State House, Abuja.
In his remarks to Samia Zekaria Gutu, the outgoing Ambassador of Ethiopia, the President assured him that Nigeria will continue to deepen relationships with her allies, particularly those with whom she shares mutually beneficial interests.
The President said the core policies of the administration – securing the country, fighting corruption, and reviving the economy – cannot be effectively achieved without good neighbourliness and deepening of relationship with allies.
Still on Thursday, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo joined other notable Nigerians in Lagos to celebrate Chief Mrs Ade Ojo at 80.
Later on Thursday, the Vice President went to Edo to start a two-day working visit to the state.
In Benin City, the Vice President launched the National Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Clinics in the state, inaugurated the solar power project at the Edokai market in Benin City and interacted with some beneficiaries of the Federal Government’s Social Investment Programmes, in a town hall meeting.
In his remarks at the MSMEs clinic launch, the Vice President assured the people that a new soft loan scheme for very small traders across the country would be coming soon.
He said the scheme called “Trader Moni” is meant to help very small scale traders to fund their businesses.
During the tour of the Azura Power Plant in Iwogban-Omoregie-Ute road, near Benin City, the Vice President urged Nigerians to expect more investments in the power sector and promised government support to investors in the sector.
On Friday, June 15, President Buhari received FCT residents at the Presidential Villa for the traditional Sallah homage.
The President also received women groups led by his wife, Aisha Buhari, President of the National Council of Women Societies, Dr. Laraba Shoda, and former Deputy Governor of Plateau State, Pauline Tallen.
In his remarks, the President urged Nigerians to work towards salvaging the nation from the shackles of past wrongs by sharing in the collective vision for a greater Nigeria and contributing individually to realise the goal.
He urged all citizens to embrace the reality that Nigeria must exist and continue as one nation, noting that the country needs all its human and material resources to succeed.
Earlier, the President joined other Muslim faithful at the Mambilla barracks in Abuja, to observe Eid prayers to mark the end of the Ramadan fast.
The Vice President Yemi Osinbajo continued his state visit to Edo on Friday, June 15, with the tour of housing and related projects by the state government.
He later moved to Akure, Ondo State for the Greater Nigeria Pastors’ Conference.
In his remarks, the Vice President sought the prayers of the church for the leadership of the nation and the success of the programmes and activities of the Buhari administration.
Read also: Presidential Villa roundup for June 3 to June 9, 2018