President Muhammadu Buhari secured a major victory against Boko Haram when he got the backing of the French President, François Hollande to support Nigeria’s fight against terrorism by supporting the Multinational Joint Task Force (MJTF) with intelligence gathering and equipment.
He also announced France’s plans to invest a total of €130million in the development of infrastructure in Nigeria for rebuilding of roads, provision of electricity and water supply.
The announcement was made after a closed-door bilateral meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris, yesterday.
In a joint press conference, the French President said that his government was concerned about the increasing spate of insecurity in Nigeria and the entire West Africa and is ready to render support in tackling extremism.
Hollande said he and President Buhari discussed new strategies of partnership that would enable Nigeria and its neighbouring countries of Cameroun, Chad, Niger and Benin Republic through the joint action of the MJTF to fight the insurgency and restore peace
He also recalled his country’s intervention approach to the insurgency fight, started with France hosting a Regional Summit on Security in Paris which brought together the neighboring countries to chat the way forward last year.
In his remarks, Buhari thanked the French government for his government’s interest in assisting Nigeria and noted that with commitment from France, Nigeria’s next shopping list regarding support will move to other members of the G7.
“We have to depend on France and the other G7 countries for support to fight piracy” the President said.
He said “Our next shopping list is going to G7in terms of intelligence and training. Another problem is the problem in the Gulf of Guinea, from Senegal to Angola, that area is endowed with resources like petroleum and other minerals but surrounded by piracy and theft.
“We are going to depend on France and G7 countries to flush these criminals out of the region.”
The two leaders also discussed a Memorandum of Understanding to build a €30 million 10 to 14 megawatts solar power plant in a rural local government in Osun State.
Excerpted from The Sun