The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), is currently presiding over this week’s Federal Executive Council meeting holding at the Council Chambers of the State House, Abuja.
Those in attendance include Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari; Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha; Ministers of Industry, Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo; Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola; Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami.
Others are Finance, Dr Zainab Ahmed; Environment, Mohammed Abdullahi; Federal Capital Territory, Mohammed Bello; State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mariam Katagum, State for Environment, Sharon Ikeazor, amongst others.
After the meeting later on Wednesday afternoon, the President will depart Abuja for Kigali, Rwanda, to attend the 26th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, being held from June 20 to 26, 2022.
According to a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, President Buhari will join other leaders to participate in discussions focused on the progress and prosperity of the more than 2 billion people living in the 54 independent countries in Africa, Asia, the Americas, Europe and the Pacific that make up the Commonwealth.
In the statement titled ‘President Buhari to attend CHOGM 2022 in Kigali, Rwanda,’ Adesina noted that Buhari will attend the official opening ceremony on June 24, followed by high-level meetings of Heads of State and Government on Friday 24 and Saturday 25 June.
“The theme for CHOGM 2022 is ‘Delivering a Common Future: Connecting, Innovating, Transforming,’ and the Heads of Government are expected to reaffirm their commitment to upholding the Commonwealth Charter, which focuses on democracy, human rights, the rule of law, as well as economic opportunities and sustainable development.
“The leaders are expected to consider a range of topical issues including post COVID-19 economic recovery, debt sustainability, climate change, poverty reduction, youth entrepreneurship and employment, trade and food security.
Prior to this, the Nigerian delegation drawn from the public, private and youth organisations participated in four forums covering youth, women, business and civil society; and will engage in ministerial meetings and several side events,” it read in part.
On the sidelines of the meeting, Buhari is scheduled to deliver remarks at the High-Level Session of Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases Summit and participate in an Intergenerational Dialogue for Youth.
He is also expected to hold bilateral talks with some leaders from the Commonwealth countries.
Ahead of the biennial meeting, which was due to take place in June 2020 but was postponed twice due to the COVID-19 pandemic, President Buhari, in an article published last April in The Telegraph, London, stressed that the Commonwealth can become a real global power with improved collaborations on trade and security, lending weight to each other in international bodies.
He also made a case for why western powers must look favourably on African states in their readiness to sell arms to them.
The President will be accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed; the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire; the Minister of Environment, Mohammed Abdullahi and the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Pantami.
Others in the President’s entourage are the National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno (retd.) Director-General, National Intelligence Agency, Ahmed Rufa’i Abubakar and the Chairman/CEO Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa.
The President will return to the country on Sunday, June 26, 2022.