Buhari advocates economic engagement with Italy

PRESIDENT MUHAMMAD BUHARI RECEIVES ITALIAN PM 5A-B. President Muhammadu Buhari in a hand shake with the Italian Prime Minister, Mr Matteo Renzi during the Prime Minister Visit at the Presidential villa, Abuja. PHOTO; SUNDAY AGHAEZE. FEB 1 2016

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday called for more intensive trade and economic engagement between Nigeria and Italy.

Speaking during a courtesy call by Mr Paolo Gentiloni, the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation at the State House, Abuja, he described the connection between Nigeria and Italy as very strong.  He urged, however, that efforts should be made to make it stronger and more secure.

The President commended the resilience of Italian businesses in Nigeria and expressed happiness that new businesses were in line to be set up in the country.

He also commended Italian support for government in tackling the humanitarian situation in the Northeast and the training they are giving to Nigerian policemen.

In his remark, Mr Gentiloni, who was accompanied by the Italian Minister of State for Interior, Mr Domenico Manzione, announced his government’s $10million humanitarian assistance to the Lake Chad region countries in addition to what they are already doing. This is within the framework of the European Union.

He said that the visit of the business group on his delegation was a fulfilment of the promise made by Mr Matteo Renzi, the Italian Prime Minister, during his visit in February, to strengthen relations with Nigeria politically and economically.