From 18- 22 October, 2017, President Muhammadu Buhari was in Turkey for a short State Visit where he met with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, in Ankara for bilateral discussions and also participated in the ninth D-8 Summit at the Lutfi Kirdar International Convention and Summit Centre in Istanbul, Turkey.
Here are 8 highlights of President Buhari’s visit to Turkey:
- On Security, Nigeria and Turkey agreed to partner in fighting transnational crimes, including the smuggling of illicit arms and drugs.
- On the humanitarian crisis in Nigeria’s North- East, Nigeria and Turkey discussed the possibilities of collaboration in handling Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and refugees.
- On Civil Aviation, Turkey made a case for a Turkish Company interested in bidding for the concession of the Abuja Airport. The delegation led by President Muhammadu Buhari informed the Turkish delegation that the airport concession process in Nigeria is ongoing and Turkish investors are welcome to participate. Turkey also made a request for increased air transportation slots for Turkish Airlines.
- On Trade and Investment, Presidents Mohammadu Buhari and Recep Tayyip Erdogan individually outlined ways to increase the size of trade and investment between Nigeria and Turkey.
- The Nigerian delegation brought home lessons from Turkey’s use of Build- Operate-Transfer (BOT) model for funding infrastructure.
- On Education and Health Matters, the Nigerian delegation accepted an offer by the Turkish Government to support the Maarif Organization for Education to set up schools and hospitals in Nigeria.
- On Defence, Nigeria and Pakistan agreed to strengthen the defence and military cooperation initiated by them a few years ago. Recall that the Defence section in the Turkish Embassy, Abuja was established 2013 and the Nigeria’s Defence section in the Nigerian Embassy, Ankara in 2016.
- On the sidelines of the D-8 Summit, President Muhammadu Buhari held a bilateral meeting with Pakistani PM Shahid Khakan Abbasi, in Istanbul and the two countries agreed to revamp the Nigeria-Pakistan Joint Commission. President Buhari also met with President Alpha Conde of Guinea.