…to hold bilateral talks with Biden, Ramaphosa, others
President Bola Tinubu will on Sunday depart Abuja for New York, USA, to attend the 78th United Nations General Assembly with a focus on strengthening Nigeria’s economic ties and attracting Foreign Direct Investments to the country.
Tinubu’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, revealed this on Friday when he briefed State House Correspondents on the President’s lineup of activities ahead of the upcoming UNGA holding September 18 – 26, 2023.
“On Sunday, His Excellency President Bola Tinubu will be departing Abuja for New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly of 2023,” said the media aide.
During the assembly, world leaders will discuss and debate ways to “confront the global polycrisis and find strategies to accelerate action on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” details on the UN Foundation website read.
Highlighting the President’s tour to New Delhi for the G-20 summit and the consequential investments brought into Nigeria, Ngelale stated, “Tinubu is going to continue advancing very aggressively on his economic development, diplomatic drive, to attract foreign direct investment into the country.”
He said the President will hold roundtable talks with prominent multinational CEOs to discuss digital transformation, innovation, and investment in Nigeria. They include leaders of Microsoft, Meta, General Electric, and Exxon Mobil.
On Tinubu’s scheduled meeting with Microsoft President Brad Smith, Ngelale explained that the meeting would be “with respect to how we can deepen digital transformation in the country, and to how we can expand the digital economic footprint in the country to ensure that our micro and small enterprises will have access to the internet and have access to other smart technologies that will facilitate their ability to transact business quickly and efficiently.”
Talks with the President of Global Affairs at Meta Technologies, Sir Nick Clegg, “is expected to be a wide-ranging conversation with respect to how we can leverage on new innovations such as artificial intelligence and certain other applications to impact the way we do business in Nigeria.”
He will also meet the CEO of General Electric, Larry Culp Jr. While noting GE’s interests across multiple sectors such as energy, aviation, and automobile, amongst others, the Presidential aide said, “We expect that to be a very important interaction.”
On Tinubu’s meeting with Exxon Mobil Chief Darren Woods, the Presidential aide said, “We see this as a major opportunity to once again lay out in detail what Nigeria has on offer concerning the implementation of the petroleum industry Act and the fiscal and tax incentives that President Bola Tinubu is putting forward to advance investment in the oil and gas sector not just in terms of oil, but more in terms of gas.”
Moreover, he noted that the UNGA will provide a platform for the President to champion the interests of small and medium-scale enterprises in Nigeria.
According to Ngelale, the Nigeria Small and Medium Scale Business Summit is strategically aligned to ensure “that we don’t just look at the large industry, that we key in on opportunities being presented by Nigerian-owned small and medium scale enterprises.”
In addition to economic discussions, President Tinubu is slated to address pressing global issues, including the reform of the global financial architecture and climate change.
In these forums, the Presidential aide emphasised that he intends to delineate a more inclusive international financial system and elaborate on Nigeria’s strategy to achieve net zero emissions by 2060.
He noted that Tinubu will also participate in various summits, including those on Sustainable Development Goals and climate ambition.
Furthermore, bilateral meetings with leaders worldwide will further emphasize economic development diplomacy.
According to the Ngelale, these engagements include bilateral meetings on the sidelines with the President of the United States, Joe Biden; Comoros, Azali Assoumani, who is Chairman of the African Union; South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa; Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva; Aljeria, Abdelmadjid Tebboune; European Union Commission, Ursula von der Leyen; Dutch Prime Minister, Mark Rutte; Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez and King Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein of Jordan, among others.