S’Court verdict: Distraction over, Tinubu tells German Chancellor 

President Bola Tinubu on Sunday asserted that distraction is over for his administration with last week’s judgment of the Supreme Court affirming his election in the 2023 polls, saying that he is now poised to move the country forward into economic prosperity.

He made the declaration at the presidential villa in Abuja while hosting German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, on a two-day visit to the country. 

He informed his guest that he had come to the country at a time the nation’s apex court rested the lingering challenge to his election, thanking the German leader for fulfilling his promise to visit Nigeria.

Tinubu stated: “It is a profound pleasure for me to welcome my friend, Olaf Scholz to Nigeria. It is a joy to see you here. At this particular period of time. 

“It is just about a few days ago that the Supreme Court of the Federal Republic of Nigeria had a final say on our electoral exercise. 

“The distraction is over. This gives us more time to focus on governance for the people and moving Nigeria forward for economic opportunities and prosperity that will defend democracy. 

“In our last tete-a-tete, you made a promise that you will be visiting Nigeria and thank you and your delegation for keeping that promise. It is an honor for me to see you here.”

President Tinubu noted that Nigeria as the largest economy in Africa is ready to partner with Germany which occupies the same position in Europe. 

He said while Germany has advanced in clean energy, Nigeria is still crawling but expressed his administration’s determination to change the narrative. 

The president added: “Our economic team and members of the group are all here ready to partner with you, with Germany as the largest economy in Europe. And the largest economy in Africa is Nigeria, you know that. We are blessed with a good environment, time of weather and blessed in terms of mineral resources. 

“Our hydrocarbon industry is still fledging environmentally while we are moving towards the transition energy source. 

“I know Germany has advanced a lot in protecting the environment and modernising energy to meet the 21st century needs both of the world and Europe in particular. 

“Nigeria is still crawling, but we are determined to change the narrative and bring about a transformative government in the country. 

“You are very welcome with your delegation to partner with in terms of education, power, mineral resources and all the other opportunities. We have a long way to bring about security of our people.”

On security, he said Nigeria is still fighting terrorism but the situation is improving as he stressed the need to protect democracy. 

Tinubu added: “We’re fighting terrorism and that is improving. We still need very much support in that area. 

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“And for us to be able to sustain democracy, rule of law and freedom for our people, we need to fight for democracy. And democracy must win at all times for us to meet the expectation of an African dream. That is why your visit this time around is more than necessary and welcome.”

On the coup in Niger Republic, the president said it is being managed diplomatically. 

He further said: “I hope you will enjoy yourself. You will have noticed, I don’t need to go about the various problems happening in the Sahel region of Africa. You’ve seen and noticed the coup in Guinea and recently in Niger republic. 

“We had people diplomatically managing the situation. The need for you to help in that of security will be empahsised and we will continue to require your knowledge. 

“We thank you for the past contributions, particularly police, law enforcement training. We need more help. And we’ll discuss further today. Thank you very much for listening to me. Welcome to Nigeria.”

In his remarks, the German leader stressed his country’s commitment to democracy and the rule of law while also emphasizing his country’s commitment to security and economic development of Nigeria. 

He said: “We are all committed to democracy and the rule of law. And it is important for us to make this a lifestyle for countries. It is good for a better future for our people. And so I’m very happy that we can work on this discussion. 

“Even on the question on how we can continue to support you in doing the best and having these insecurity questions in your country as well. And we will go into the details later, but I can assure you that we will continue our support and our cooperation also in this field. 

“One of the main aspects for cooperation will be developing the economy and using the economic opportunities of your country. As you already said, there are a lot of chances not just from gas and oil, which is traditionally linked to your country, but there’s a lot of room for improvement and for better using the capacities of your country.

“But also for going into investments for the future, which is about hydrogen and all the things that are important for an economy that is able to produce all the necessary goods for the people without harming the environment. 

“But this is something where cooperation is also important and we will do so and it will be an important aspect of our work together.”

The German Chancellor regretted that minerals are just about extraction as they end up in other countries rather than for Nigeria’s development. 

He said: “It is also important that we use the way of developing your economy in the fields of the minerals you have. I think that the investments into this structure must be easy, but also benefitting for your country.

“It is something that bothered me a lot in the past that sometimes it was just about extraction, which is not enough. There should be one bit more for making it feasible that some parts of the economic development can be used in the countries of origin. 

“This is not the case today in our world, but if we change this a little bit, it will change a lot and working on this field is also important for us. We see that a lot of investments have to be taken looking at infrastructure and it’s not just about roads and railways. 

“It is also about electricity, the infrastructure using the grid making feasible that all the produced energy or the power that is already there could go to the people because they are making it and finding a way how we can develop the economy in this field will be also important.”

(Tribune)

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