Governor Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi has condemned critics of President Muhammadu Buhari’s recent trips, Concise News reports.
Reacting to Buhari’s recent trips to Japan, Russia, and Saudi Arabia, the governor said that president Buhari should rather be commended for his efforts to boost Nigeria’s economy through the massive influx of foreign capital.
He frowned at critics of the trips, saying they were being unfair to the president and Nigerians who would eventually be the direct beneficiaries of such economic diplomacy.
Speaking in Makkah, Saudi Arabia, the governor described the president’s trip to Saudi, where he participated in the Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh, as a very successful outing for Nigeria.
He said: “It is an excellent outing for Mr President, President Muhammadu Buhari and us are honored to be part of his entourage to the conference which is tagged; Future Investment Initiative (FII) organized by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, which is their Sovereign Wealth Fund equivalent to Nigeria’s Sovereign Fund, only that whereas ours is under three billion dollars theirs is in excess of 400 billion dollars.
“Mr President was invited by King Salman bin Abdulaziz, Custodian of the two whole Mosques, and that shows the respect with which Mr President is treated around the world and the honours he brings to Nigeria.
“Mr President in addition to participating in the summit, was also hosted by King Salman ibn Abdulaziz and he was visited by the Crown Prince, Muhammed Bin Salman, who showed unprecedented respect for Mr President because rather than Mr President visiting him he decided to visit Mr President and agreed to invest in Nigeria.
“So, this is a very, very successful outing for Nigeria and it is consistent with our call for Mr President to be more active in economic diplomacy.
“It is noteworthy that Mr President has visited Russia, Japan, all in a bid to secure investments for Nigeria.
“This is the kind of activism – Mr President is not traveling to enjoy himself or on holiday but to bring investments for Nigeria.
“He (Buhari) just took a day off to come to Makkah and perform the Umrah and we are quite honoured that we participated with him in the Umrah.
“He was very, very energetic, very healthy as he displayed during the movement between the Safa and Marwah.’’
The governor expressed the hope that Kebbi would benefit immensely from Saudi and other trips.
“Any benefit to Nigeria is a benefit to Kebbi State government; two, the promise of more investments by Saudi Arabia, the promise of more support to our security issues will also have a direct benefit to Kebbi state.
“The fields of cooperation will include many things that Kebbi states have the ability to compete in, like mining, agriculture and even futuristic investments like Information Technology where our abled youths will be able to participate and compete.”