Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has arrived in France on Monday (14 September) for a three-day official visit after being invited by France's leader François Hollande. The purpose of the visit is to strengthen relations and discuss defence, security, trade and investments, according to Buharis's spokesperson, senior special assistant on media and publicity, Garbe Shehu. Shehu added that Buhari will also visit the Headquarters of Medef, France's movement for enterprises, and will participate in a France - Nigeria investment forum.
France is one of Nigeria's biggest investors, while the African nation is the main exporter of oil and petroleum products to France. The two countries established relations following the independence of Nigeria in 1960. In 1999, then French president Jacques Chirac was the first foreign leader to visit Nigeria after the re-establishment of democratic rule, which replaced a long history of military rule.
In the 2000s, the two countries also engaged in a so-called "strategic partnership", which was consolidated when former Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan visited France in 2010. In 2014, the two countries launched the Nigeria-France Trade and Investment Council to double the trade flows in both nations.
Newly elected Buhari, who took office in May after defeating Jonathan in March's election, has vowed his administration will kill corruption and end terrorism. The president vowed that terror group Boko Haram, which has killed thousands of people in northern Nigeria since its insurgency became violent in 2009, will be defeated by November.
Some analysts criticised the president for the remark, arguing that more time was needed to eradicate terrorism in the region.
Boko Haram also carries out attacks in neighboruing countries Chad, Cameroon and Niger. Nigeria is leading a new task force – consisting of 8,700 troops from Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Cameroon and Benin – in the fight against the terrorists. The regional offensive has recorded some success, such as the recapture of a key town in Borno.