Vice President Kashim Shettima has left Abuja for the third Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) Forum in Beijing, China.
Stanley Nkwocha, the presidential spokesman, stated on Sunday that Shettima would represent President Bola Tinubu at the event.
Shettima, according to Nwokocha, will attend the forum, which will take place from October 16 to 18.
The forum’s topic, according to Nwokocha, is “High-quality Belt and Road Cooperation: Together for Common Development and Prosperity.”
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Nkwocha stated that Shettima is anticipated to use the forum’s platform to attract investors for other development initiatives.
He added that Shettima would hold bilateral meetings with other world leaders to promote Nigeria’s trade and investment relations in line with the economic development agenda of the Tinubu administration.
He said: “The 2023 edition of the BRI will mark the 10th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) championed by the President of China, Xi Jinping, as an initiative for global infrastructure development strategy.
“Adopted and launched by the government of the People’s Republic of China in 2013.
“The initiative seeks international action to enhance cooperation and promote infrastructure investment in nearly 70 countries across Asia, Africa and Europe through land and maritime routes.”
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He noted that in 2018, former President Muhammadu Buhari signed the Belt and Road cooperation agreement with China.
“Nigeria and other partner countries across the world are to benefit from the initiative in areas of infrastructure investments such as ports, skyscrapers, railroads, roads, bridges, airports, dams and coal-fired power stations,” he added.
Nkwocha said the delegation of the vice president to the forum includes the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yusuf Tuggar; the Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Atiku Bagudu; and the Minister of Transportation, Sa’idu Alkali.
Others are the Minister of Works, David Umahi; the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Doris Uzoka-Anite; the Managing Director of the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC), Fidet Okhira; and the Director-General of Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission, Micheal Ohiani.
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Nkwocha further stated that the vice president will leave China for the United States in accordance with the Tinubu administration’s Food Security and Diversification Policy.
He stated that Shettima will make a keynote presentation on October 24 at the African Development Bank (AfDB) and World Food Prize in the United States.
He said: “While in the US as the special guest, Shettima will deliver a keynote address at the African Development Bank (AfDB) and World Food Prize – facilitated by Norman E. Borlaug International Dialogue slated to commence on October 24th, 2023.
“Also, he will join other African international leaders, Heads of State and Government who in the past have delivered keynote addresses at the Borlaug Dialogue.
“They include former United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan; World Food Prize Laureates; Ghana President, John Kufuor, AfDB President, Akinwunmi Adeshina and former President Olusegun Obasanjo and others.”
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The media aide also said Shettima is expected to highlight reforms being instituted in the Nigerian agrifood sector.
He said: “The Vice President will engage several stakeholders, partners and investors in opportunities for investments in Nigeria.
“Several meetings and engagements have been slated for the vice president who is expected to be back to the country after his commitments in the US.”
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