By Ike A. Offor
ABUJA: Though the Presidency has waved off the insinuation that many foreign trips of President Mohammadu Buhari is so far a mere jamboree.
It is absolutely most difficult to convince any serious thinking and non partisan Nigerian that most of his trips, apart from one to UAE, have yielded any fruit for our ailing economy. The trip to United Arab Emirate, has been so far the only trip that has brought home something tangible to Nigeria and her citizens. Such agreement to repatriate any ill gotten wealth owned by any looter from Nigeria, that is stashed away in UAE. This is a welcome agreement from his trip to UAE, the rest since he assumed office have been nothing to write home about.
Any other trips have been pure waste of our national resources. Perhaps the Presidency has to do more to bring forth some prove of the usefulness of numerous trips to several countries. His trip to Iran came few weeks away from the lifting of UN sanctions on Iran, but he was unable to pen down any trade agreement with Iran.
The presidency declared that the trips were for the good of the country which would in less than no time manifest.
It will be recalled that the president since assuming office May 29, last ear has embarked on various international journeys which had seemingly attracted unhealthy reactions from some Nigerians.
But speaking on the issue, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on media and publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu who spoke to State House correspondents in Abuja on Monday stated that trips had stated paying off as president Buhari has succeeded in blocking many loopholes through which funds were looted.
According to him, the president has signed a couple of agreements that would lead to repatriation of looted funds.
He revealed that security officials from Nigeria would be in United Arab Emirates, UAE, next week to finalize put paid on the agreement on recovery and repatriation of stolen funds.
He said “You also see gradually the strategic efforts to go after the stolen funds abroad. The UAE is very important to the country.
“Don’t be surprised that in the coming week or two, you will see high level security officials leaving Nigeria for the UAE to begin to give expression to our wish to enjoy this new cooperation between the two countries with a view to recovering stolen assets.
“There are numerous agreements we have also signed with them. Drugs, human trafficking and stolen assets that have been stolen abroad. So, the President wants to make it difficult for people, even when then steal from Nigeria, there would probably be no hiding place for stolen assets”, he said.