Buhari to lead Nigerian delegation to AU summit

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President Muhammadu Buhari would lead Nigerian delegation to the 30th Ordinary Session of Assembly of African Union Heads of State and Government summit in Addis Ababa next week.

The Spokesman, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dr Tiwatope Elias-Fatile, made this known on Wednesday in Abuja while fielding questions from newsmen.

He said the ordinary session would hold between Jan. 28 and Jan. 29.

Elias-Fatile added that the President would bring the issue of anti-corruption to the fore at the Summit.

He explained that the 2017 Ordinary Session on Anti-Corruption endorsed Buhari to champion AU anti-corruption for 2018 with the theme “Winning the Fight Against Corruption: A Sustainable Path to Africa’s Transformation.”

According to him, the endorsement by AU is as a result of the giant strides made by the present administration in the fight against corruption.

He noted that “it is going to be very engaging and a defining moment for Nigeria as Africa and the global community will be looking up to Nigeria to provide a commitment and the needed leadership.

“This is to surmount one of the major obstacles that is hindering Africa’s transformation and economic development which is corruption.”

The spokesman added that programmes had been lined up to galvanize support for the fight against corruption during the summit.

He said “this followed the realisation that countries in Africa lose billions of dollars each year through corruption.

“So, the continent is widely considered among corrupt places, a factor seen as contributing to distorted development and impoverishment of many African states.”

He announced that President Buhari would also deliver a brief declaration, followed by the official unveiling of the logo of  “Project 2018.”

He said that on the sideline of the event, there would be a meeting of Organisation of African First Ladies against HIV/AIDS and Joint African Union Commission Roll Back Malaria High Level Briefing, among others. (NAN)