Nigeria’s President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, is gearing up for a significant journey to New York, United States, for the United Nations General Assembly, UNGA78, where world leaders gather to address global challenges and cooperation.
The theme for this 78th session, which commenced on September 5th, is “Rebuilding Trust and reigniting global solidarity: Accelerating Action on the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals towards Peace, prosperity, progress and the Sustainability for All”
In an exclusive statement to State House Correspondents, Ajuri Ngelale, Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to President Tinubu, shared insights into the President’s agenda at the UNGA78. He emphasized that President Tinubu’s primary focus during the General Debates will be to champion Nigeria’s economic interests.
Ngelale highlighted that President Tinubu has a series of bilateral meetings scheduled on the sidelines of the World Leaders’ Debates at the UNGA78. These include meetings with the President of the United States, Comoros, South Africa, the President of the European Union Commission, the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, the King of Jordan, and the Algerian President.
He further elaborated, stating, “President Tinubu will also engage the Brazilian President as well as the Spanish Prime Minister on attracting foreign direct investment in Nigeria. President Tinubu will be having investment at the front and centre 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, the president of Comoros, the President of South Africa the President of the European Union Commission, the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, the King of Jordan, with the Algerian President, the Brazilian president and with the Spanish Prime Minister.”
Ngelale added that President Tinubu has also set aside time for discussions with major Chief Executives and leaders of multinational firms representing diverse sectors of the economy; “this is to ensure that Nigeria’s MSMEs gain access to the internet as well as 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 concerning how we can leverage innovations, such as artificial intelligence and certain other applications, to impact the way we do business in Nigeria,’’ he said.
Ngelale emphasized that the objective is to ensure that Nigerian MSMEs gain access to the internet and smart technologies to facilitate efficient business transactions. He further noted that President Tinubu is committed to raising the profile of Nigerian MSMEs and enabling them to penetrate international markets.
“Yes, the President is focused on attracting foreign direct investment, attracting jobs, attracting new tax revenues into the shores of our country, but he’s also focused on making sure that homegrown Nigerian companies have a fair and equal access to foreign and international markets,” Ngelale said.
To revitalize Nigeria’s energy sector, President Tinubu will hold discussions with the Chief Executive Officer of General Electric, a renowned international organization deeply involved in energy, electric power generation, aviation, and engine production, among other sectors.
Another significant meeting on President Tinubu’s agenda while at UNGA78 is with the global CEO of Exxon Mobil Oil and Gas Company, aimed at advancing investments in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector. This includes a detailed discussion of the Petroleum Industry Act and associated fiscal and tax incentives.
Furthermore, Ngelale said the president is slated to address the UN High-Level Reform of the Global Financial Architecture. This platform will allow him to present his vision for a more equitable international financial system that includes developing countries in decision-making processes.
Lastly, President Tinubu will actively participate in the UN Secretary General’s Climate Ambition Summit, where he will outline concrete plans for Nigeria’s energy transition and the collaborative efforts of the business community, foreign governments, and non-governmental organizations in achieving Nigeria’s goal of net-zero emissions by 2060.