With the global surge in COVID-19 and its new Omicron variant, President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday emphasised the urgent need for world leaders to work together and reinforce partnerships to limit the catastrophic consequences of the pandemic.
Speaking in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, during Nigeria’s Day at Dubai Expo 2020, the President declared that the theme of the global event, “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”, had placed a moral burden on all relevant stakeholders, across national boundaries, to urgently work together for a better and brighter future, by stemming COVID-19.
On the same day, amid the raging Omicron COVID-19 variant in Southern Africa and some other parts of the world, the federal government unveiled a revised COVID-19 protocol, without restricting inbound travellers from any country.
Buhari, while addressing the global audience at Dubai Expo 2020, said: “The concerted efforts by world leaders, working together, enabled us to limit the catastrophic consequences of this pandemic.
“Such level of continuing understanding and pragmatic partnership are needed and must be reinforced to ensure that our world is a better place that addresses humanity’s common challenges to guarantee sustainable development and progress for the global community.”
President Buhari told the distinguished audience that Nigeria, like other countries in the world, was impacted negatively by the COVID-19 pandemic, compounding national efforts in addressing insecurity, fighting corruption and diversifying the nation’s economy.
The Nigerian leader noted that the present administration in Nigeria had registered significant progress within a short period of time “and is still making headways” in key sectors of the economy.
He said: “Therefore, the Nigerian delegation is participating in this Expo with great prospects for positive outcomes, while assuring the world of our determination and readiness to partner with relevant investors in our bid to tackle a number of challenges to make Nigeria a better country.
“Nigeria is participating in this epoch-making event in order to explore opportunities that are capable of unlocking the huge potentials that abound in our country, as it makes conscious efforts to be a strategic partner of choice for the global community.
“It is my pleasure, therefore, to invite all participating countries, organisations and other private sector operators to take full advantage of opportunities being provided by the EXPO 2020, by linking up with the Nigerian team, to collaborate with us in diverse areas of interests for our mutual benefits.”
President Buhari thanked Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), for inviting him to the Expo and especially to attend Nigeria’s Day event, which offers a great opportunity to show-case the potential of Africa’s largest economy.
He described Dubai Expo 2020 as the single most important global event of its kind to take place in the Middle East, Africa and the South East Asian regions in recent years.
“We are proud to be a part of this dynamic evolution of pragmatic partnerships that are both creative and innovative for the progress of the country,” the President said.
Charles Ajunwa in Lagos, Deji Elumoye, Onyebuchi Ezigbo and Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja