President Buhari will today, 28th April 2018, leave Abuja on an official working visit to the United States of America, on the invitation of President Donald Trump.
He is expected to have a bilateral meeting with President Trump and a working lunch on Monday 30th April 2018. The meeting is to discuss ways to enhance the strategic partnership between the two countries and to advance shared priorities, such as: promoting economic growth, fighting terrorism and other threats to peace and security.
The meeting will further deepen the US-Nigeria relationship as the United States considers Nigeria’s economic growth, security and leadership in Africa to be critical aspects of their strategic partnership.
Later in the day, President Buhari will meet with a group of business persons in agriculture and agro-processing, dairy and animal husbandry. Ahead of the visit by President Buhari, meetings have been scheduled on 26th and 27th April 2018, between senior Nigerian Government officials and executives of major US companies in the areas of agriculture, aviation and transportation.
In the area of aviation, the Nigerian officials will be meeting with Boeing, the largest aircraft manufacturer in the world, on the National Carrier Project. On agriculture, they will meet with large equipment manufacturers with a focus on harvesting and post-harvesting equipment.
In the area of transportation, the officials will meet with the GE-led consortium for the implementation of the interim phase of the narrow gauge rail concession.
In the interim phase, a substantive concession agreement will be negotiated and finalized to provide the consortium the opportunity to invest an estimated $2bn, to modernize the rail line from Lagos to Kano (Western Line) and from Port Harcourt to Maiduguri (Eastern Line). During the meeting, the concession framework and the interim phase framework agreements are expected to be signed.
The Nigerian officials will also meet with US-EXIM Bank and the US Overseas Private Investment Corporation to explore competitive financing arrangements.
It is noteworthy that in 2017, Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment and the United States Department of Commerce signed a Memorandum of Understanding to promote and encourage commercial and investment ties between Nigeria and the United States, with initial focus on infrastructure, agriculture, digital economy, investment and regulatory reforms