President Muhammadu Buhari on fridayreturned to Abuja after actively participating in the three-day Russia – Africa Summit held in Sochi, Russia, with about 40 Heads of State and Governments in attendance.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the presidential aircraft conveying the president and some members of his entourage landed at the Presidential Wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, at about 5. 25 p.m.
While in Sochi, President Buhari met with Russian President, Vladimir Putin, where the duo agreed to put Nigeria-Russia relations on a fast track, and pursue the completion of all abandoned projects initiated by both countries.
The two leaders, who made the pledge at a bilateral meeting held on the sidelines of the Summit, also agreed to start new infrastructural projects and expand trade and investment, security and military cooperation.
According to statements made by both leaders, Nigeria and Russia will work together to improve the efficiency of Nigeria’s oil sector, “which is the backbone of the economy.”
“The cooperation will see to the rehabilitation of epileptic oil refineries through establishment of framework for a joint venture between Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), and Russia-based leading oil company, Lukoil,’’ Garba Shehu, the President’s spokesman, said in an earlier statement on Wednesday.
“The issue of uncompleted and abandoned Ajaokuta Steel Rolling Mill was presented by President Buhari. “His request for the return of Russia, on a government-to-government relationship, for completion and commissioning of the plant was accepted by President Putin,’’ he further revealed.
The presidential aide also disclosed that the Russian Government had agreed to support development of Nigeria’s rail infrastructure by constructing 1,400 kilometres track from Lagos to the South-South city of Calabar.