President Muhammadu Buhari in the course of the week reiterated Nigeria’s commitment to promote peace and harmony in West Africa.
The president expressed the commitment again after former President Goodluck Jonathan briefed him on the face-off between Mali and Cote D’Ivoire, in the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Thursday.
The face-off emanated from the detention of 49 Ivorien soldiers by Mali for “unlawful entry’’.
Three of them, females, have been released, leaving 46 others still in detention in Mali.
Cote D’Ivoire has condemned the act as “hostage taking’’, threatening to take action.
The development led to the intervention by ECOWAS leaders as advocated by the ECOWAS Special Envoy on the situation in Mali, ex-President Jonathan.
Presidential spokesperson, Femi Adesina quoted Buhari as pledging an initiative by Nigeria to immediately resolve the impasse
The president also presided over the virtual meeting of Federal Executive Council (FEC) where it approved the signing of a Bilateral Air Services Agreement between Nigeria and Kuwait.
The agreement, according to Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, will open up airline services between the two countries in accordance with the provisions of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
Sirika also frowned at foreign airlines selling tickets in dollars, warning that government would not take it kindly with those caught engaging in such violation of Nigerian laws.
The council also approved the sum of N829.8million as revised estimated cost for the rehabilitation of a road linking Anambra and Enugu States.
Contract for the rehabilitation of the road was originally awarded in 2018 because it is a strategic inter-state road that had heavy traffic.
Minister of State for Works and Housing, Malam Umar El-Yakub, gave the revised contract figure when he spoke with newsmen at the end of the council’s weekly meeting.
The president had earlier on Tuesday hosted President Andrzej Duda of Poland at the State House, Abuja.
Nigeria and Poland also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Agriculture, while pledging their willingness to enlarge the fields of economic cooperation in the energy and manufacturing sectors.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the signing took place during the State Visit of Duda , the first by a Polish leader to Nigeria since the establishment of diplomatic relations between both countries in 1961.
Buhari said Nigeria was gratified by the existing fruitful cooperation with Poland in the fields of maritime, education and defence.
On agriculture, the president said cooperation in this area would be a win-win for the two countries, especially in the context of global food insecurity occasioned by the conflict in Ukraine.
Agriculture is one of the priority areas of the Nigerian government.
On Friday, Buhari said he received with immense sadness news of the passing of Queen Elizabeth ll of the United Kingdom.
He said: ”My family and I, and the more than 200 million Nigerians have learned with immense sadness of the passing of the Queen and the end of her unique and wonderful 70 year reign.
”Her late Majesty was the only British Sovereign known to 90 per cent of our population.
“Our thoughts and sincere condolences are with the Royal Family and the people of the United Kingdom and the entire Commonwealth as we join the entire world in mourning her loss.
”The story of modern Nigeria will never be complete without a chapter on Queen Elizabeth ll, a towering global personality and an outstanding leader.
”She dedicated her life to making her nation, the Commonwealth and the entire world a better place.”
The president inaugurated the Presidential Committee on the National Economy, noting that in spite of the disruptions in global economy and internal troubles, the Nigerian economy has continued to be resilient and maintain an upward trajectory.
He also hosted Gov. Muhammadu Yahaya of Gombe State and Dave Umahi of Ebonyi on Friday in the State House, Abuja.
Yahaya commended Buhari for approving Federal Government’s take over of Gombe State Airport.
He expressed optimism that the move would ensure the availability of funds to maintain the airport throughout the lifespan of its operation.
On his part, Umahi said he was in the Presidential Villa to invite the president to inaugurate new Ebonyi Governor’s Lodge recently completed by his administration.
According to him, the president has accepted the invitation and the project will be inaugurated in October. (NAN)