President Muhammdu Buhari, ever since his assumption of office in 2015, gives utmost priority to attending international summits.
While many Nigerians have criticised the president’s foreign trips, saying he should allow the ambassadors and other aides handle some international events, the presidency has said the trips are not for mere sightseeing.
Presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, said solving Nigeria’s economic issues requires such trips as they provide avenues to meet and encourage investors to come to the country.
Shehu added that the foreign trips embarked upon by the president are justified by their results and outcomes.
As 2019 gradually winds up, Legit.ng highlights top 10 countries President Buhari visited during the year.
In April, President Buhari visited N’Djamena, the capital of Chad Republic.
In Chad, the president participated in the Extraordinary Session of the Conference of Heads of State and Government of the Community of Sahel-Saharan States, CEN-SAD.
President Buhari in August traveled to Japan for the 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development.
The conference was held between August 28 and 30 after which the president returned to Nigeria on the 31st of the same month. Amidst other events, President Buhari held a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan, wooed investors to Nigeria, and met with the Nigerian community in Japan.
3. Burkina Faso
In September, President Buhari President traveled to Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso for the ECOWAS Extraordinary Summit on Counter-Terrorism.
4. United States
Also in September, President Buhari traveled to the United States for the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). Amidst other activities, the president met with the delegation from SNC Super Tolcano as well as Nigerian Youth Climate activists in New York.
5. South Africa
In October, President Buhari traveled to South Africa for a state visit and 9th meeting of the Bi-National Commission.
The visit also provided avenue for the president to discuss the welfare of Nigerians who have been victims of xenophobic attacks in the country with his South African counterpart, President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Also in October, President Buhari visited Russia for the Russia-Africa Economic Forum which was held between October 23 and 25.
On the sidelines of the summit, Buhari had a bilateral meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, where the two leaders agreed to improve the countries’ economic relationship.
7. Saudi Arabia
Also in October, President Buhari visited Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, for the Future Investment Initiative (FII) Summit which was held between October 29 and 31.
Meanwhile, Buhari had earlier visited the country in May when he accepted the invitation of King Salman Bin Abdulaziz, the ruler of Saudi Arabia and Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques to carry out the Umrah (lesser pilgrimage) in the kingdom.
The president also participated in the 14th summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) hosted by the Saudi king.
8. United Kingdom
In November, President Buhari traveled to London, the United Kingdom, on a private visit where he spent about two weeks.
He proceeded to the UK after attending the Economic Forum of the Future Investment Initiative (FII) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
9. Equatorial Guinea
President Buhari also in November traveled to Equatorial Guinea for a gas summit. Other leaders of other gas-producing countries also participated at the one-day summit.
In December, President Buhari visited Egypt for the ASWAN Forum on Peace and Sustainable Development in Africa.
The forum was between Wednesday, December 11 and Thursday, December 12.
Meanwhile, President Buhari has promised that he will not relent in running his office in line with the dictates of the Nigerian constitution.
The president said that he will continue to do his best to see that his administration utilises the nation’s resources to build infrastructure for the people.
He made this remark on Wednesday, December 25, during his hosting of a delegation led by the minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Mohammed Bello, who paid him the usual Christmas day homage at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.