The 3-day State visit to Kenya by President Muhammadu Buhari of the Federal Republic of Nigeria beginning Wednesday January 27 is expected to enhance further the relations between the duo.
President Buhari will arrive at Eldoret International Airport where he will be received by his host, President Uhuru Kenyatta.
According to Kenya’s presidential spokesman Manoah Esipisu, President Buhari will receive a full State reception including a 21-gun salute.
Thereafter, the two presidents will proceed to the 9th Kenya Rifles, Moi Barracks, Eldoret where they will be joined by Somalia’s President for a special inter-denominational service to celebrate the lives of of gallant soldiers killed in Somalia.
On Thursday, President Kenyatta and President Buhari will hold private talks, before a bilateral meeting at State House, Nairobi.
Kenya and Nigeria enjoy warm and cordial relations.
The two countries concluded an Agreement for the establishment of a Joint Commission for Cooperation in July 2015.
The Agreement established an enabling framework for enhancing bilateral cooperation in areas of mutual interest including, Trade, Tourism, Education, Energy, Agriculture and Technical cooperation.
‘’Kenya and Nigeria have exchanged high level visits. We welcomed former President Goodluck Jonathan to Kenya in September, 2013 and Nigeria reciprocated by hosting President Kenyatta in May, 2014.’’ Noted Esipisu.
During the previous visits by president Buhari’s predecessor, a number of Agreements in Agriculture, Tourism, Oil and Gas, Immigration and Trade, were signed.
Notable among the agreements was the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on oil and gas matters between the two countries in 2014.
This MOU provided a platform for Kenya to learn from the Nigerian expertise and build capacity in oil exploration. With the discovery of viable oil deposits in the country, Kenya has been working on developing her commercial oil production and such co-operation will go a long way towards achieving that target.
An active Joint Business Forum has expanded room for further engagement between various sectors, including a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) launching the Kenya-Nigeria Agro-business Forum which was signed in Nairobi in September, 2014 and an MOU which was signed between the Benue State Chamber and Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Busia Branch in January, 2015.
Warm trade relations between Kenya and Nigeria have enabled a number of Nigerian companies to set base in the country.
GZ Industries, which has invested in a can-manufacturing facility in Kenya, and the Dangote Group, which is in the process of setting up a cement factory in Eastern Kenya.
Others include Guaranty Trust Bank, United Bank of Africa and Eco-Bank.
The growth of business between Kenya and Nigeria has enabled Kenya Airways to operate six flights per week to Lagos and three flights a week to Abuja.
It is these areas of cooperation that President Buhari’s visit to Kenya is expected to bolster.
– Wamoyi. M.M., Kenya