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Nigeria to abide by tripartite panel’s decision on border closure, Buhari promises

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•Seeks stronger ties with Greece, others

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday expressed the willingness of his administration to implement the decision of the tripartite committee, made up of Nigeria, Benin and Niger, on the partial closure of the country’s land border once the report is ready.

During an audience with the outgoing president of the ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID), Bashir Mamman Ifo, and his successor, Dr. George Nana Donkor, at State House, Abuja, Buhari explained that the action had given Nigeria a number of insights.

‘’We have saved millions of dollars. We have realised that we do not have to import rice. We have achieved food security.
‘’We have curtailed the importation of drugs and proliferation of small arms which threaten our country,” he stated.

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The Nigerian leader thanked Ifo for the strides recorded during his eight-year tenure, urging his successor to build on the achievements.

The outgoing bank chief informed the president that the bank had been transformed from loss making to profitability, with commitments from ECOWAS member-states doubling to $1.4 billion.

In his remarks, Donkor thanked the Nigerian first citizen and the people for their support towards his emergence.He lauded the Buhari’s economic strategies captured in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), noting that they had brought about recovery, stability and food security in the most populous black nation.

In addition, the president has sought stronger diplomatic ties with Greece to boost Nigeria’s ongoing efforts at diversifying the economy, improving global competitiveness and repositioning the country for global visibility.

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He spoke while receiving a letter of credence from the Ambassador of Greece to Nigeria, Monsieur Loannis Plotas, yesterday in Abuja, pledging that the long-standing relations with the European nation would be strengthened for mutual benefit.

Also, Buhari received a similar letter from the Ambassador of Cuba to Nigeria, Clara Margarita Pulido Escandell, advising that the cultural similarities between both countries should serve as impetus for working together, especially on trade.

Besides, the president said Nigeria was taking measures to secure the Gulf of Guinea consequent upon his meeting with his Equatorial Guinean counterpart, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo.

He gave the reassurance while receiving the diplomatic correspondence of that country’s envoy,
Francisco Edu Ngua Mangue, in Abuja.

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