President Buhari returns to Abuja after actively participating in a 3-day Russia-Africa summit

The presidential aircraft conveying the president and some members of his entourage landed at the presidential wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, at about 5:25pm.

While in Sochi, Buhari, on October 23, met with Russian President Vladimir Putin, where the duo agreed to put Nigeria-Russia relations on a fast track, and pursue the completion of all abandoned projects initiated by both countries.

The two leaders, who made the pledge at a bilateral meeting held on the sidelines of the summit, also agreed to start new infrastructural projects and expand trade and investment, security and military cooperation.

“The cooperation will see to the rehabilitation of epileptic oil refineries through establishment of framework for a joint venture between Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), and Russia-based leading oil company, Lukoil,’’ Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman, said in an earlier statement on Wednesday.

Both NNPC and Lukoil, according to the presidential aide, will work towards the prospect of oil in deep offshore.

“The issue of uncompleted and abandoned Ajaokuta Steel Rolling Mill was presented by President Buhari,” Shehu said.

“His request for the return of Russia, on a government-to-government relationship, for completion and commissioning of the plant was accepted by President Putin.”

The presidential aide also disclosed that the Russian government had agreed to support development of Nigeria’s rail infrastructure by constructing 1,400 kilometres track from Lagos to the south-south city of Calabar.

At the plenary of the summit on Thursday, Buhari pledged to inject fresh energy into Nigeria-Russia relations to bolster an age-long relationship that had been mutually rewarding and promising.

The President called for a stronger partnership that is humane, inclusive and diversified.

Also on October 24, Nigeria and Russia signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU), which would enable both countries, oil giants – Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), and Russia’s Lukeoil – to elevate commercial relationship to a government-to-government backed partnership.

Shehu said with the signing of the MoU, NNPC and Lukeoil would work together in upstream operations and revamp Nigeria’s refineries.

President Buhari returns to Abuja after actively participating in a 3-day Russia-Africa summit

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