President Muhammadu Buhari arrived in Pretoria, South Africa on Wednesday for a state visit and the ninth meeting of the bi-national Commission.
Buhari spokeswoman Garba Shehu, who confirmed this in a statement in Abuja on Thursday morning, said that the ninth commission meeting will witness for the first time the participation of the two Heads of State after an elevation.
The meeting of the binational Commission was raised to the level of participation of the presidents, following the strategic position of the two economies in Africa and the need for more solid relations.
Shehu revealed that Buhari and his host, President Cyril Ramophosa, will be co-chairs of Thursday’s meeting.
NAN reports that the president’s plane arrived at the South African Air Force base, Waterkloof, at 9.10 am m, and was received by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr. Naledi Pandor and the Minister of Social Development, Ms. Lindiwe Zulu.
Before the meeting to be held in the Union building, both presidents will discuss issues of mutual interest relating to the well-being of citizens and the expansion of economic and cultural ties.
Shehu said the visit would allow more harmonious relations between the two largest economies in Africa and open more borders for prosperity opportunities by encouraging more trade and investment, especially for Nigerians.
Shehu said that 32 agreements and memoranda of understanding (MoU) were signed in the bi-national Commission, which would be of mutual benefit to both nations.
He added that the meeting would provide an opportunity to review progress.
“President Buhari is on a state visit to South Africa. While in South Africa, the two leaders will review a number of issues in our Bi-National Commission, including issues that affect citizens,’’ he said.
Buhari would also hold an interactive meeting with Nigerians in South Africa before returning to Abuja.