Buhari Departs For AU Summit In Niamey

President Muhammadu Buhari would depart Abuja Saturday for Niamey, Niger Republic to attend the African Union (AU) Summit, scheduled to hold on July 7.

The president is expected to participate in the 12th Extraordinary Session of the Assembly of the Union on African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and the First Mid-Year Coordination Meeting of the AU and the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) in Niamey.

A statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Chief Femi Adesina on Friday explained that the Extraordinary Session of the Assembly of the Union was expected to launch the operational instruments of the Agreement establishing AfCFTA.

According to the statement, prior to the Summit, the Buhari Administration had embarked on extensive consultations with stakeholders, culminating in the submission of the report by the Presidential Committee to Assess Impact and Readiness of Nigeria to join the AfCFTA.

The committee had recommended that Nigeria should sign the Agreement which aims to boost intra-African trade.

The statement said the  president would sign the AfCFTA Agreement on the sideline of the AU meeting in Niamey.

It added that President Buhari would be accompanied to Niamey by the First Lady, Hajia Aisha Buhari, Governors Babagana Zulum, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu and Aminu Bello Masari of Borno, Kebbi and Katsina states, respectively.

Other top government officials to be on the trip include Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Amb. Mustapha Suleiman; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Sunday Akpan; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Defence, Nuratu Batagarawa; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Mahmoud Isa-Dutse; Director General, National Intelligence Agency, Amb. Ahmed Rufai Abubakar; and the Director General, National Office for Trade Negotiations, Amb. Chinedu Osakwe.