France pledges full support to battle insecurity


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France pledges full support to battle insecurity

France has promised to support Nigeria against the escalating insecurity in the country, the Presidency said last night.

A statement by Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, said President Muhammadu Buhari secured the pledge from the French government during a bilateral meeting with President Emmanuel Macron.

According to the statement, Macron said his country would be on the side of Nigeria and that it is willing to support with everything to assist the country to overcome the security threats.

It reads: “Speaking at a bilateral meeting, at which he hosted the Nigerian leader on the sidelines of the Financing Africa Summit in Paris on Tuesday, President Macron pledged his steadfast support for Nigeria and its people as they confront the security challenges facing the country.

“President Macron said the French government will absolutely be there on the side of Nigeria and it is willing to support with everything to assist the country to overcome the security threats.”

The French President also pledged to support Nigeria in confronting the challenges faced with COVID-19 vaccines.

President Buhari assured his French counterpart that Nigeria was willing to work with France and other international partners to do whatever it would take to restore peace in the country.

“President Buhari, at the meeting, outlined the challenges all round facing the country as well as its neighbours and spoke about the steps he has taken to reignite response to the situation, which he said included the appointment of the new Service chiefs.

“The President expressed the willingness of Nigeria to work with France and all international partners to reign in the security challenges and thanked President Macron for agreeing to intensify the existing partnership with Nigeria,” the statement said.

He also called on European countries and global financial institutions to cushion the effects of COVID-19 on African economies by restructuring debt portfolios.

According to him, granting complete reliefs and releasing vaccines to the continent, which is still behind in protecting majority of its citizens, would be a good lift.

Buhari spoke at the Financing Africa Summit held at Grande Palais Ephemere with the theme: “External Financing and debt Treatment.”

The statement quoted him as saying: “It is in this vein that we solicit the support of the French government with its influence in the European Union to lend its voice to the efforts being made to mobilise additional resources for developing economies most especially Africa in order to strengthen the quantum of investments to our economies. This financial support should also be extended to the private sector.”

The President said the European Union should encourage fair and equitable distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines in less developed countries, and promote the establishment of manufacturing facilities.