At the invitation of His Excellency François Hollande, His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari paid an official visit to Paris, France, from 14 to 16 September 2015. The two leaders discussed bilateral, regional, international and global issues. They reaffirmed their commitment to their bilateral relations and agreed to strengthen their partnership in the following areas.
The decision made during this visit to set up, between the two ministries of defence, a high-level defence committee on operational, strategic, arms and defence cooperation illustrates a shared intention to work towards stability in Nigeria and the region.
Building on the Paris Summit for Security in Nigeria that was held in May 2014,
France and Nigeria are determined to work together to combat the terrorist group Boko Haram, and highlight the importance of regional and international cooperation in order to eradicate this threat. France will continue to assist Nigeria and its neighbours in terms of intelligence sharing, training and logistics. A follow-up meeting to the Paris Summit will be held in May 2016.
France supports Nigeria’s efforts to find a durable solution to the security and development problems not only in the north-east, but also other regions, so as to offer development gains to all its citizens. With regard to bilateral cooperation, the two countries agreed to strengthen their efforts to combat maritime insecurity, especially piracy and oil theft, in keeping with the objectives established at the Élysée Summit and the principles agreed at the Yaoundé Summit.
Presidents Buhari and Hollande welcome the organization of the Dakar International Forum on Peace and Security in Africa on 9-10 November 2015. They feel that this forum, organized by the Senegalese government with France’s support, will be an excellent opportunity to exchange views on the security challenges affecting the continent and plan ways to resolve them.
In the economic field, France and Nigeria reaffirm their intention to capitalize on the many business opportunities that are opening up in various sectors of activity, to ensure they are mutually beneficial and a source of growth and employment in both countries.
To this end, the inauguration, during President Buhari’s visit, of the Franco-Nigerian Joint Trade and Investment Council will provide French and Nigerian stakeholders with a forum for dialogue and cooperation and enable them to build partnerships.
The opening of a Business France office in Lagos was discussed and will be finalized with a view to encouraging the presence of French businesses in Nigeria and Nigerian investment in France.
France welcomes the commitment of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to combating corruption and offers to support the fight against money laundering, oil theft and piracy, and also offers to assist in capacity-building for better debt management and mobilizing domestic resources. Furthermore, France will help in the efforts to diversify the Nigerian economy.
Nigeria and France look forward to the signing of two new funding agreements with the Agence Française de Développement (French Development Agency, AFD), to support Nigeria. The two sides acknowledged that since 2013, AFD has committed a total of €380 million in Nigeria. Nigeria and France confirm their commitment to the increased support of AFD in Nigeria.
Cultural, educational, science and technology cooperation
France and Nigeria, taking into account current global realities, agreed to review, without delay, the 16 May 1984 agreement on Cultural, Educational, Science and Technology Cooperation. The two countries acknowledged the importance of this agreement and committed to take necessary steps to realize its objectives. France welcomes Nigeria’s commitment to expand the teaching of French language in Nigerian educational institutions and will support this effort.
France and Nigeria welcome the successful discussions held in the field of mutual legal assistance in criminal matters and affirm their resolve to enable the entry into force of the agreement signed in May 2009 in this regard.
In preparation for the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, France and Nigeria commit to work together to ensure a successful outcome of COP21, in particular the adoption of a legal instrument under the Convention with an effective date applicable to all Parties./.
¹Source of English text: French Foreign Ministry.