Buhari to address EU parliament, commission’s special session

President Muhammadu Buhari is to address a special session of the European Union parliament and European Commission next Wednesday in Strasbourg, France.

The Head of the European Union Delegation to Nigeria, Michel Arrion, told reporters in Abuja on Wednesday that President Buhari is scheduled to address the 751-member EU Parliament in a special session to be attended by members of the executive and legislative arms of the 28-member states of the EU.

Mr. Arrion said the one-day session would afford the Nigerian leader the opportunity to canvass the support of his European counterparts for his administration’s cardinal agenda of fight against insecurity in Nigeria.

The last African leader to address a similar special session of the EU was Thabo Mbeki of South Africa in 2004.

The president is expected to hold bilateral discussions with the presidents of the UK Parliament and European Commission about corruption, economy and the challenges of migration and mobility in Africa.

Mr. Arrion said the EU would use the occasion of Mr. Buhari’s visit to re-open discussions on the controversial Economic partnership agreement (EPA) on trade with the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, which Nigeria has refused to sign.

He said the EU would continue to support Nigeria in the fight against corruption through a range of programmes aimed at strengthening the capacities of the anti-corruption agencies and the criminal justice administration system.

“We welcome any form of cooperation in the judicial and the police that Nigeria wants to have with EU member-states,” he said. “The EU will be ready to support government agencies fighting corruption in public procurement and administration, starting with investigation and judiciary’s handling of corruption cases.”

Apart from the support for the fight against corruption through a 35 million Euros project implemented nationwide by the UN Office on Drug and Crime, the EU envoy said the delegation would support the judicial reform in Nigeria with the currently United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, UNODC, initiative in six states.

The projects, targeted at various anti-corruption cases, seek to evolve a coordinated mechanism for the implementation of anti-corruption strategies in the country.

He said the EU was committed to work with Nigeria in formulating the appropriate policies and strategies, by combining military, intelligence, information, humanitarian, political and development responses to the problem at federal and state levels.

“During the visit, we (EU) will hold bilateral discussions on the humanitarian responses, in terms of building the capacity of Nigeria to respond to the social infrastructure needs for schools, hospitals and electricity in the North East region of the country.

“The focus of the discussions will be how the international community can help Nigeria address the threat of Boko Haram insurgents; fight corruption in public and private sectors of the country’s economy, and help recover and return stolen assets to Nigeria,” he explained.

He advised the government not to focus on corruption in the public sector alone, noting that the level of corruption in the private sector, especially in the business sector, was not only high, but also seriously impacting on the economy and management of economic infrastructure.

Mr. Arrion said the problem with the Nigerian economy was its over-dependence on oil revenue.

“There should be a complete review of taxation policy in Nigeria, particularly on company and individual income taxes as well as value added tax, VAT. Nigeria has the lowest rate of VAT in Africa. The issue is not the rate of VAT, but the coverage. You cannot raise VAT if half of the economy is not covered and the businesses and transactions are informal,” he said.

On migration, Mr, Arion said a high level mission is expected to visit Nigeria soon to discuss on the challenges of migration and mobility in Africa, to follow up on discussions held last November in Malta on EU-Africa summit to form a common agenda on migration.


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  • AFRICANER

    I said that I didn’t think Western countries will welcome president Buhari into their capitals again after the Zaria massacre, I will be watching this purported invitation to see if my hypothesis was premature, or if this press release is unilateral.

    • persona

      Any serious government will put down any insurgency, militancy and will never tolerate a bunch of religious bigots to ridicule trained soldiers when especially a war against terror is fought in their very backyard.
      The deaths are regrettable, the inquiry is on but it has nothing to do with the president.

    • You mean your idiotic concept of governing

  • persona

    This is serious business for the president. They have reposed confidence in Nigeria, they know the role of this nation and the importance of political will and the leadership of the man in charge.
    Buhari’s media aide is not the one speaking here so there is no embellishment as some would have loved.
    Interesting fact here also is the mention of Malta which the president was in attendance and it was reported that he was junketing around the world. The much needed reset button for Nigeria is active and the world is paying attention.
    Nigeria also exited the top ten on the corruption index of TI. The world seem to be paying more attention that what is called media trial.

    • share Idea

      The devil is in the detail … see excerpt from the article …

      “Mr. Arrion said the EU would use the occasion of Mr. Buhari’s visit to re-open discussions on the controversial Economic partnership agreement (EPA) on trade with the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, which Nigeria has refused to sign.”

      Everyone have now known that a mumu is at the hem of affairs of Nigeria and can be convinced to sign away any agreement and the administration will come back to tell his gullible followers of how they promised him to repatriate stolen funds.

      • persona

        The Nigerian delegation already agreed to the EPA in March and we refused to implement.
        You chose to not read where they said it will require fine tuning abi? Continue to dodge common sense. The world has seen the Patriot-In-Charge and 28 world leaders will be seated and over 750 parliamentarians will be in attendance. It is clear who is moving this country forward. Why will the outgone administration sign an agreement they didn’t intend to keep? The fraud of that government was well known and they now understand why they had to pause for the right person to do it. They know more than all the noise you guys are making.

        • share Idea

          Please share a link where GEJ’s administration approved that. Aganga advised GEJ properly on it and he refused to sign on, so with other Ecowas countries after Nigeria refused

          • persona

            This is part of the full briefing:

            Arrion said the Common Agenda on Migration and Mobility signed between Nigeria and the EU on March 12, 2015, would be fine-tuned during Buhari’s visit. He said the EU would further put the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), with Nigeria on the front burner during Buhari’s visit

          • share Idea

            I will paste the relevant quote in my first comment maybe you did not read it properly …

            “Mr. Arrion said the EU would use the occasion of Mr. Buhari’s visit to re-open discussions on the controversial Economic partnership agreement (EPA) on trade with the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, which Nigeria has refused to sign.”

            Emphasis on “which Nigeria has refused to sign”, how does that suggest to you that Nigeria have signed the agreement. You just quoted a different thing ‘Migration and Mobility’ which is different from economic agreement referred to by my comment. Nigeria we hail thee

          • persona

            Why are you confusing yourself bros. There were two agreements, one signed the other not signed. Issue is why would you go to a meeting after having diplomats work out deals and sign one and not the other? If there are issues with the deal, you alert the counterpart before the signing date and get it fixed. Fact is it happened under GEJ, fact is the fine tuning will be done under a new leadership.
            It thus negate you earlier response that the world sees PMB as mumu.
            Can you eat your words now and be thus belle full?
            The full press release is there for all to see. Don’t confuse yourself and then try to confuse others.

          • share Idea

            That shows the level of intellect in the team GEJ to have sift out unfavourable terms of agreement from favourable ones. I’m only replying you so that you don’t keep deceiving the gullible like your master and messiah Buhari.

            GEJ government made it public that they will not sign the EPA agreement on economy and it is reported in the article too

          • persona

            It is a shame that a government will choose to attend a function and openly not sign a document they were not seeing for the first time. Diplomatic exchanges had happened and both parties would have agreed on the draft before the actual signing. There is nothing spectacular in seeing clauses or protecting interest. I don’t have an issue with that. My challenge is the mockery that they did openly and its taking 28 world leaders to now invite Buhari and will fine tune it before he eventually signs it. It is not Buhari saying he will not sign, it is the EU that is agreeing to making changes. I believe you already know who the greater of them is. Buhari had been signing such documents while GEJ was still a student, They will not mess with him, he did it in UAE and you saw the accord they gave him. ou guys should just give up and move this country forward as against trying to defend a man who his very wife pushed around.

      • persona

        Arrion said the Common Agenda on Migration and Mobility signed between Nigeria and the EU on March 12, 2015, would be fine-tuned during Buhari’s visit. He said the EU would further put the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), with Nigeria on the front burner during Buhari’s visit—-bro, go figure.

      • Wailer, what stopped badluck from signing this treaty?

        • share Idea

          To you governance is magic, hence, you expect full implementation of an agreement that has just been signed.

          • What badluck couldn’t achieve in 8 ys PMB should be about to cure metastasis cancer which is nigerian corruption in less than a year, implement all treaties, and make the sky bluer, right par-genius?

  • New Nigerian

    Nigerians arise and take your pride of place everywhere as the African Leader, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, Mr Integrity, lead the charge for African Renaissance. May God Bless and Keep him. May He bless all the good people of the world!

  • Zeetabeetaphi

    @disqus_paW8wtqYDu:disqus

    MUHAMADU BUHARI came into office on 29th May 2015 with an empty head. That is the problem with Nigeria.
    He’s being tossed hither and tither by all sorts of counsel because the world realizes that Buhari has no plans.
    If Buhari had any plans in office he’s had seven months to announce it but he does not have any plans at all.
    He’s surrounded by buccaneers in cabinet who – almost equally vacuous – just follow their leader in wandering.
    If the European Union saw Buhari’s ideas on the table they’ll not be urging a whole set of policy plans on Buhari.
    Asking Buhari to address anyone outside there is just to expose his vacuity as a man in a job above his head.

    • shola

      You can hardly feed your children with information by saying if,if if. If you have any constructive ideas of how to run this nation better, please get your fellow Nigerians informed. We are waiting!

  • First Nigeria’s president to stay at Blair house in DC, first Nigeria’s president to address the (751-members) EU’s Parliament, sai baba all the love and respect you’re getting this would lead to cancer and ulcer for your enemies and the enemies of the nation

    The “enimies within”

  • Isi Agwo

    Guessed why not many foreign leaders have addressed the European Parliament? it has no relevance to how European nations form and model their foreign policies. However, any opportunity for the Illiterate One to fly abroad, get dollar allowance, and advertise his illiteracy and dementia will be celebrated by his idiotic press team. Geee! There will translations of Bokohari’s hopeless attempt at speaking English to all listeners, including speakers of English.

  • Omole

    Past Administrations Corrupt & Criminal tendencies have badly affected the psych of many Nigerians! President Buhari has enormous tasks at hand to REBUILD the Nigeria of our DREAM and refresh peoples’ mindset. I pray God grants him the needed supports and make him succeed. I love U PMB!!!

  • shola

    No prophet is accepted in his own country, but we are now witnessing that the whole world is welcoming president Buhari and his administration with hand kiss.
    Under Jonathan administration this same world declare Nigeria as a fail state. Jonathan took six YEARS to allegedly fight Boko Haram insurgency – without success. Buhari took just six MONTHS to wipe out the same insurgency who are now terrorists with their sporadic bloody attacks.

    • Ifeanyi Nwoko

      Lol. Let us continue deceiving ourselves. Sporadic attacks abi? The sycophants have gotten quiet

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  • Shugaba Nkasa

    Hardworking Nigerians abroad always hold their heads up high for various reasons. Thanks to the current administration, these same Nigerians have an additional reason to hold that head up or even cock it to one side if they like.

    To be sure, the significance of addressing the EU parliament has nothing to do with what Buhari will be saying. The significance is the fact that the EU parliament has enough respect and deference for a leader to assemble before the said leader.
    Well done to all of you.
    Together, there’s nothing you can not do.
    Congratulations again.

  • Jes

    Nigeria always trying to please white people… BS. watch out for the EPA that the EU is trying to force on Nigeria because it amounts to economic suicide.