President Muhammadu Buhari has appreciated efforts of President Emmanuel Macron in expanding opportunities for business between Nigerians and French citizens, while also giving commitment to partnership aimed at degrading international criminal networks.
Speaking at a working lunch at Palais Elysee, President Buhari said the visit of President Macron to Nigeria in 2018 had yielded fruits in renewed interest for entrepreneurship beyond local borders, with more businesses expanding their reach and scope in France, particularly with establishment of French Nigeria Investment Club.
The President affirmed that the French government continues to share the vision of promoting stronger ties in health, education and security.
On security, President Buhari commended France for its strong commitment to peace and security in the Sahel and the Lake Chad region. Stressing that it has contributed significantly to the fight against terrorism and extremism in the region.
He noted that Irregular migration and human trafficking are issues of concern to both Nigeria and France. Transnational criminal networks operating in Africa and Europe are exploiting the vulnerable in the most dehumanising ways.
According to him they are committed to working with the relevant French authorities to dismantle these networks.
President Buhari appreciated the French President for support in improving bilateral relations with Nigeria.
President Buhari said that the French government had also played a key role in ameliorating the challenge posed by COVID-19 since 2020, donating 10 million doses of vaccines to Africa, with more than 500,000 sent to Nigeria.
President Buhari who thanked the French leader for hosting the delegation states that his visit to France was coming at a time when the two countries have decided to hold the very first Nigeria International Partnership Forum, which had took place in Paris.
In his remarks, the French President said there was a growing need for stronger partnership on security in the West Coast, taking into consideration threats in the Sahel.
Macron also urged more enabling environment for businesses to thrive, including smaller companies in France that want to stretch their markets into Nigeria.
President Buhari and President Macron discussed the need for successful elections in Libya to restore stability, regional intelligence sharing on security, maritime security, single monetary policy in West Africa and the situation in Chad and Mali.