President Buhari to address the European Parliament

Peace Kanu, Abuja

Ambassador Michel Arrion with the Head of section,Political, Press and Information, delegation of the EU to Nigeria Ms Pauline Torehall during the press conference at the EU office in Abuja

Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari has been slated to address the European Parliament on February 3rd 2016 in Strasbourg France.

The Head of the EU delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Ambassador Michel Arrion who disclosed this at a press conference in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, said that former South African President, Thabo Mbeki was the last African leader to address a session of the Parliament in 2004.

He noted that the visit to the European parliament would further boost the image of Nigeria to the international community.

Ambassador Arrion revealed that president Buhari would hold bilateral talks with the EU Commission as well as the executive and legislative arms of the EU during his one day visit to Strasbourg.

“We are preparing for the visit of his Excellency, President Buhari to Strasbourg the seat of the European Parliament in Europe, It is a great honour and opportunity as well because the audience would be made up of seven hundred and fifty one members of the European Parliament from twenty eight member states of the European Union, the first time visit of President Buhari to the parliament would be an opportunity to discuss areas of international cooperation on counter terrorism, security, corruption and economy with Nigeria,” he explained.

Humanitarian Needs

He urged the Nigerian government to address the humanitarian needs of the internally displaced persons affected by terrorist attacks in the north east of the country.

On corruption, he explained that the EU would cooperate with Nigeria to curb the menace and return stolen funds from European countries.

“There are various angles from which you can address the question of corruption, I think the focus should not only be on the public sector but also on the private sector and in businesses because it has a strong impact on the global management of the economic infrastructure and the economy of this country. As EU we can of course support agencies fighting corruption starting with investigations and the judicial treatments of cases of corruption, all countries are facing corruption, the question is how do you respond to it in an appropriate manner?” he queried.

On migration, the Head of the EU delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Ambassador Michel Arrion revealed that Nigeria represents thirty percent of irregular migrants to Europe.

According to him a high level delegation of the EU would visit Nigeria in 2016 to discuss issues on migration and mobility