The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Friday arrived Abuja from Madrid, the Spanish capital, after his Official State Visit, ahead of the presidential primary of the All Progressives Congress.
He was received at the Presidential Wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, by the FCT Minister, Mohammed Bello, and the Director-General of the State Security Service, Yusuf Bichi, amongst others.
During his two-day State Visit, Buhari signed at least nine Memoranda of Understanding with the Spanish government.
They include the Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters; Transfer of Sentenced Persons; Extradition; Economic and Commercial Cooperation; Tourism.
Others were on Sports; Health; the Fight Against COVID-19; and Science and Innovation.
In a meeting with his Spanish counterpart, President Pedro Sanchez, President Buhari said his country looked forward to increasing bilateral relations between both nations.
He commended Sanchez for his leadership qualities and contributions to the war against terror in Sub-Saharan Africa, especially in Mali, and looking forward to cooperation in the area.
Both leaders also discussed areas of cooperation on which the Agreements and Memoranda of Understanding were signed.
While addressing the Spain-Nigeria Business Meeting organised by the Spanish Chamber of Commerce and the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, the President extended fiscal investment incentives to Spanish investors to ramp up a long-term business partnership between the two countries.
This was as he said an increased collaboration with African nations like Nigeria could be what all of Europe needs to mitigate against both current and potential future supply-chain challenges.
Buhari listed the incentives to include: Three to five years of tax holidays for enterprises in what we deem to be pioneer industries; tax-free operations and no restrictions on expatriate quotas in our Free Trade Zones; capital allowances for agriculture, manufacturing and engineering amongst others.
He also called on investors to look beyond the challenges currently facing the world and focus on the opportunities they present. According to him, there are no challenges without opportunities and solutions.
To Nigerians in the Diaspora, the President said the Federal Government would aggressively protect and defend the interests of law-abiding citizens.
He gave the assurance when he met with some Nigerians living in Spain.
They include the President of the Nigerian Community in Spain John Bosco, his deputy, Richard Omoregbe, Super Eagles player, who plies his trade with Leganes FC, Kenneth Omeruo, a football agent, Obinna Okafor, a student of aviation, Mohammed Bashir, a student of global affairs, Segun Adedoyin, and businessman, Bright Omorodion.
Buhari told the group, whom he described as ambassadors of the country in Spain, “Many of you are here for different reasons, some for a fulfilling career in sports, especially in football from where you earn respectable incomes to sustain yourselves as well as maintain your extended families in Nigeria including investments back home.
“Some of you are engaged in other businesses that have enhanced your socio-economic status, both here and at home. More importantly, through your commitment to your various callings, you have enhanced the name and image of our country, thereby earning Nigeria respect in Spain.
“I have also been informed of how law-abiding you are here in Spain. I wish to encourage you to continue to be role models for our youth back home as well as sustain the image of being excellent Ambassadors of Nigeria in Spain and live peacefully in the various communities in which you reside here.”
Following his arrival, Buhari is due to meet Presidential aspirants of the All Progressives Congress on Saturday ahead of Monday’s primary elections.
The PUNCH reports that, in a meeting with the Progressive Governors Forum and the APC Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu, Buhari harped on the need to elect a candidate that would assure the party of victory in next year’s election.
Source: The PUNCH