ACHIEVEMENTS
In Diplomacy And International Relations

Re-establishment of Nigeria’s position and influence in the regional and global arena. Fragile/broken relations with the United States, United Kingdom, South Africa, and with neighbouring countries (Chad, Niger, Cameroon) have been revived and strengthened since June 2015.

Nigeria’s prominent participation in the London Anti-Corruption Summit and the Commonwealth Conference on Tackling Corruption, in May, 2016 in London.

Major outcomes/results/manifestations of Nigeria’s renewed visibility and respect on the International Stage:

  • The positions of Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, President of the UN General Assembly (UNGA), President of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Secretary-General of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), African Development Bank, and African Export–Import Bank are all currently held by Nigerians.
  • The signing, in August 2016, of an MoU with the UK Government on modalities for the return of Nigeria’s stolen assets in the UK.
  • The establishment of a Global Forum for Asset Recovery (GFAR), hosted by the governments of the US and UK in December 2017, to focus on assisting Nigeria and three other countries to reclaim their stolen assets.
  • Nigeria joined the Open Government Partnership (OGP) in 2016 and developed a National Action Plan, which is already being implemented.
  • In 2016 Nigeria signed an Agreement on the identification and repatriation of Illicit Funds with the United Arab Emirates during President Buhari’s Visit to that country.
  • The Federal Government under President Buhari has successfully engaged the governments of Switzerland, Jersey Island, United States, United Arab Emirates, and Liechtenstein among others, in an effort to ensure the repatriation of Nigeria’s stolen assets.
  • A total of US$622 million in looted Abacha funds repatriated to Nigeria in two tranches in December 2017 and April 2020. The first tranche ($322m) is being disbursed as part of the Buhari Administration’s Social Investment Programme interventions, while the second tranche ($311m) is being invested in the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF), managed by the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA).
  • Under President Buhari’s watch, Nigeria has been playing an active and stabilizing role in OPEC. In 2017 Nigeria was able to successfully negotiate a vital exemption from production cuts agreed at the time, a move that helped shore up revenues and foreign reserves.
  • The Buhari Administration has mobilized International Support for the War against Boko Haram, forging strong partnerships with key countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Germany, ECOWAS, the AU, the UN, and others. After years of stalemate, the United States finally agreed to sell – and has sold – weapons to Nigeria, (12 Super Tucano Aircraft)
  • Revamp of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) comprising troops from Nigeria and Chad, Niger, Cameroon and Benin.
  • The designation of President Buhari as the African Union (AU) Anti-Corruption Champion for 2018
  • The designation of President Buhari by ECOWAS Heads of State as West Africa’s Covid-19 Champion in 2020.
  • President Buhari’s interventions have helped restore and strengthen democracy in The Gambia and Guinea Bissau. He authorized the deployment of troops, fighter jets and warships to The Gambia during the impasse that followed the December 2016 Presidential elections.
  • Successful evacuation and repatriation of more than 10,000 Nigerian migrants from Libya, with the support and partnership of the International Organization for Migration (IOM)

Bilateral Relations:

CHINA:

  • Billions of dollars in concessional infrastructure funding for critical road and rail projects. President Buhari’s April 2016 official visit to China has unlocked billions of dollars in infrastructure funding, primarily for road and rail projects;
  • Implementation of a Chinese Yuan (CNY) 15 billion Currency Swap Agreement between the Peoples Bank of China and the Central Bank of Nigeria.

GERMANY

Figure 4: President Buhari welcomes German Chancellor Angela Merkel to Nigeria, August 31, 2018

  • Support for the Presidential Power Initiative (PPI), six-year Programme to modernise Nigeria’s electricity grid, under a Government-to-Government framework between the Nigerian and German Governments; to be managed and implemented by Siemens AG.
  • Signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) and Petkus Technologie of Germany, aimed at significantly reducing the incidence/impact of post-harvest losses in Nigeria’s Agriculture Value Chain.
  • Signing of a MoU with Volkswagen of South Africa (VWSA) to develop a joint vision for an automotive hub in Nigeria.

UNITED STATES (USA)

  • Renewed cooperation in Security and Anti-Corruption. The US Government has approved the sale of 12 Super Tucano Aircraft to Nigeria, as well as repatriation of recovered looted monies and assets stashed in the US.
  • Nigerian and U.S. militaries collaborated to host, April 2018 in Abuja, the 2018 African Land Forces Summit, the largest gathering of African Army chiefs, to discuss cooperation aimed at improving security on the continent.

UNITED KINGDOM (UK)

  • 2018: Nigeria commenced the implementation of Automatic Exchange of Tax Information (AETI) protocol with the United Kingdom. This Protocol will provide the Nigerian Government with data on bank accounts, property and trusts held in the UK by Nigerian nationals, and will support the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) by allowing Nigerian tax authorities to check the accuracy of declarations received regarding overseas assets and income.
  • 2018: Launch of a UK-Government funded £13 million education programme that will provide training for teachers, school equipment, and security for schools, for 100,000 children living in parts of the Northeast affected by Boko Haram.

SOUTH AFRICA:

  • The SA-Nigeria Bi-National Commission was in 2019 elevated from Vice Presidential to Presidential Level, as a symbol of a renewed commitment to cooperation between Africa’s two largest economies.

MOROCCO:

  • The Presidential Fertilizer Initiative, PFI (which involves a partnership with the Government of Morocco, for the supply of phosphate, as well as technical assistance), has resulted in the revitalization of 14 blending plants across Nigeria.
  • As part of the PFI, in 2018 Nigeria and Morocco signed a Memorandum of Understanding (between OCP of Morocco and the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority) on the establishment of a Basic Chemicals Platform, specifically to develop a significant Ammonia Production Plant in the Niger Delta.

RUSSIA:

  • Government-to-Government Arms Deal involving the supply of 12 Attack Helicopters to Nigeria.

Figure 5: Induction of new attack helicopters into the Nigerian Air Force

  • Resuscitation Deal for the Ajaokuta Steel Rolling Mill, agreed by Presidents Buhari and Putin, during the Russia Africa Summit in 2019. The Russian Government has agreed to support the completion and full operationalization of the plant.

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES (UAE):

  • Nigeria has signed and ratified an Extradition Treaty with the United Arab Emirates that allows extradition of Nigerians who flee to the UAE after committing crimes in Nigeria.
  • The Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) has seen inflows of around US$2 billion under the Buhari Administration. These are the first government inflows since the original US$1 billion which the Fund kicked off with in 2012.

SAUDI ARABIA:

  • Relations with Saudi Arabia have greatly improved. During the Future Investment Initiative (FII) in 2019, President Buhari met separately and held extensive talks with the King Salman bin Abdulaziz, and his son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, MBS; as well as the leadership of ARAMCO and the Saudi Sovereign Wealth Fund.
  • One of the outcomes of the Saudi Visit was the agreement by the two governments to set up a joint Saudi-Nigeria Strategic Council, made up of government officials and businessmen from both countries, and which will focus on economic growth and development, investments in oil and non-oil sectors, and security cooperation.