Nigeria’s Vice President Kashim Shettima, will depart Abuja Sunday for Beijing, China, to represent President Bola Tinubu at the upcoming 3rd Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) Forum scheduled to hold from 16th to 18th October, 2023.
The delegation of the Vice President to the Forum includes Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Yusuf M. Tuggar; Budget and Economic Planning, Senator Atiku Abubakar Bagudu; Transportation, Senator Sa’idu Ahmed Alkali; Works, Senator David Umahi; Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Doris Nkiruka Uzoka-Anite; Managing Director of the Nigeria Railway Corporation, Fidet Okhiria, and Director-General of Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission, Michael Ohiani.
The Vice President, according to a release issued by his Media Assistant, Stanley Nkwocha, will be joining world leaders from over 130 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America at the Forum to deliberate on the theme, “High-quality Belt and Road Cooperation: Together for Common Development and Prosperity.”
Shettima is expected to avail Nigeria of the platform provided by the Forum to woo investors for more developmental projects.
He is also billed to 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.
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 Peoples 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.
In 2018, former President Muhammadu Buhari, on behalf of Nigeria, 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.
Meanwhile, in pursuance of the food security and diversification policy of the Tinubu administration, the Vice President will, from China, depart for the United States of America, USA, where as the special guest, he is expected to deliver the keynote address at the African Development Bank (AfDB) and World Food Prize – facilitated Norman E.Borlaug International Dialogue slated to commence on October 24th, 2023.
Shettima will be joining other distinguished African international leaders and heads of state/government who in the past have delivered keynote addresses at the Borlaug Dialogue. They include former United Nations Secretary – General and AGRA founder, Kofi Annan; World Food Prize Laureates; Ghana President, John Kufuor and AfDB President, Akinwunmi Adeshina; former President Olusegun Obasanjo; Presidents Felix Tshishiked and Joaquim Chissano; Joyce Banda; Ameenah Gurib – Fakim and IFAD President, Kanayo Nwanze, amongst others
He is expected to highlight reforms being instituted in the Nigerian Agrifood sector by the Tinubu administration and 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.