78th UNGA: Tinubu to depart Abuja for New York on Sunday
President Bola Tinubu will on Sunday depart Abuja for New York, the United States to attend the 78th edition of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
Briefing newsmen at the State House, Abuja on Friday, presidential spokesperson, Ajuri Ngelale, said President Tinubu is set to attend UNGA with a focus on strengthening Nigeria’s economic ties.
According to him, the President plans to meet with CEOs of major multinationals including Microsoft’s Brad Smith, Meta’s Nick Clegg, General Electric’s CEO, and Exxon Mobil’s CEO to discuss digital transformation, innovation, energy, and petroleum sector opportunities.
He added that the President will also participate in various summits, including those on Sustainable Development Goals and climate ambition as well as bilateral meetings with world leaders including US President Joe Biden and counterparts from Spain, Netherlands, South Africa, Brazil, Comoros and Algeria.
In his words, “President Bola Tinubu is going to continue advancing very aggressively on his economic development, diplomatic drive, to aggressively attract foreign direct investment into the country. So with that, I would like to inform you that Mr. President will be having the following meetings with major chief executives and leaders of multinational firms cutting across multiple sectors of the economy.
“The President will be meeting with the President of the Microsoft company worldwide, Brad Smith, with respect to how we can deepen digital transformation in the country, and to how we can expand the digital economic footprint in the country to ensure that our micro and small enterprises will have access to the internet and have access to other smart technologies that will facilitate their ability to transact business quickly and efficiently.
“Mr. President will also be meeting with Sir Nick Clegg who is the president of Global Affairs for Meta Technologies, that is expected to be a wide-ranging conversation with respect to how we can leverage new innovations such as artificial intelligence and certain other applications to impact the way we do business in Nigeria.
“Mr President will also be meeting with the global CEO of General Electric. Of course, General Electric is a very well-known international organization that cuts across multiple sectors, they have very deep involvement in the energy sector electric power generation aviation, you know, engine production for multiple multiple modes of transportation, amongst many other inputs. So we expect that to be a very important interaction.
“Furthermore, Mr President will be meeting with the global CEO of Exxon Mobil Oil and Gas Company. We see this as a major opportunity to once again lay out in detail what Nigeria has on offer with respect to the implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act and the fiscal and tax incentives that are being put forward by President Bola Tinubu to further advance investment in the oil and gas sector not just in terms of oil, but more in terms of gas.
“But even in the oil sector, we are looking very closely at what we can do in the deep offshore and some of the associated opportunities in that sphere.
“Again, these are just one-on-one meetings with these delegations. These are just a few of them. Mr. President will be participating in the Africa Global Business Initiative, essentially, another platform that’s more like a roundtable where you’re going to have lucrative enterprises, high-level, chief executives from around the world, that want to listen in on what African leaders with particular attention to the Nigerian president, what he has to say, in terms of the opportunities available to invest in Nigeria across sectors, that’s going to be another major opportunity.
“The President will also be presiding over an event, that is the Nigeria Small and Medium Scale Business Summit. And this is really a very strategic one. The President is determined to ensure that we don’t just look at large industries, that we key in on opportunities that are being presented by Nigerian-owned small and medium-scale enterprises, putting our own MSMEs in a position to make an impact in foreign markets.
“In addition to that, the President will be speaking at the UN High-Level reform of the global financial architecture. This is sequel to the engagement Mr President had in Paris. It will essentially allow our president to lay out his vision for a fairer international financial system that does not any longer leave out developing countries from the decision making table.
“He’s very determined to drive this and he’s leading it from the front and that’s a very important engagement on his schedule. Aside from that, there will be two major summits at the UN. Aside from of course, general debate at the General Assembly, which is one the UN 2023 summit on SDGs the sustainable development goals at which Mr. President will be very actively participating.
“And there will also be the UN Secretary General’s climate ambition Summit, at which Mr. President will be laying out his plans in concrete detail for Nigeria’s energy transition and the role that our partners in the business community and foreign governments and nongovernmental organisations will play in the actualization of Nigeria’s ambition to get to net zero by 2060.
“The last point I want to make is on His Excellency Mr. President’s schedule of bilateral meetings. The President, again, focusing in on his economic development diplomacy will be having investment at the front and center of his conversations with his counterparts around the world.
“And these engagements include bilateral meetings on the sidelines, with the President of the United States, with the President of Comoros, with the president of South Africa, with the President of the European Union Commission, with the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, with the King of Jordan, with the Algerian President, with the Brazilian president and with the Spanish Prime Minister.
“It’s still dynamic. There are some that will still be added, but it’s fair to say that within a very short few days in New York, President Bola Tinubu, will certainly be one of the most active and one of the most sought-after heads of state with respect to his engagement in both bilateral and multilateral platforms.”