“Vice President Shettima Heads to China for Belt and Road Forum”
Vice President Kashim Shettima has embarked on a crucial journey to represent President Bola Tinubu in Beijing, China, at the third Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) Forum. The forum, scheduled from October 16 to 18, brings together leaders from more than 130 countries to discuss the theme: “High-quality Belt and Road Cooperation: Together for Common Development and Prosperity.”
Shettima’s mission includes the attraction of investors and fostering meetings with world leaders to advance trade and investment in alignment with the administration’s agenda.
The 2023 edition of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) commemorates the 10th anniversary of this global development strategy initiated by Chinese President Xi Jinping. Launched in 2013, BRI aims to promote international cooperation and encourage investments in nearly 70 countries spanning Asia, Africa, and Europe through both land and maritime routes.
In 2018, on behalf of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari signed a Belt and Road cooperation agreement with China. The potential benefits for Nigeria and its partner countries encompass developments in ports, skyscrapers, railroads, roads, bridges, airports, dams, and coal-fired power stations.
Shettima’s delegation comprises high-ranking officials, including Minister of Foreign Affairs Yusuf Tuggar, Minister of Budget and Economic Planning Atiku Abubakar Bagudu, Minister of Transportation Sa’idu Alkali, Minister of Works David Umahi, Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment Doris Uzoka-Anite, Managing Director of the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) Fidet Okhiria, and Director General of Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) Michael Ohiani.
Additionally, as part of the Tinubu administration’s focus on food security and diversification, Vice President Shettima will journey to the United States of America (U.S.A) to deliver a keynote address at the African Development Bank (AfDB) and World Food Prize event, the Norman E. Borlaug International Dialogue, starting on October 24.
Shettima joins a distinguished group of African and international leaders who have previously delivered keynote addresses at the Borlaug Dialogue, including Kofi Annan, John Kufuor, Akinwunmi Adeshina, Olusegun Obasanjo, and others.
During his time in the United States, the Vice President will highlight the reforms underway in Nigeria’s agri-food sector under the Tinubu administration. He will engage with numerous stakeholders, partners, and investors to explore investment opportunities in Nigeria.
The journey will encompass a series of meetings and engagements, with Vice President Shettima expected to return to Nigeria after fulfilling his commitments in the U.S.A.
In conclusion, this participation in the Belt and Road Forum and the Norman E. Borlaug International Dialogue underscores Nigeria’s commitment to international cooperation, investment attraction, and food security, aligning with the administration’s strategic objectives.