President Muhmmadu Buhari says issues of security and the economy are more important to him than the 2019 elections.
According to Femi Adesina, presidential spokesman, Buhari said this when he visited Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain at 10, Downing Street, London, on Monday.
Adesina said the three-pronged focus of the current administration resonated through the meeting.
“We campaigned on three major issues, to secure the country, revive the economy and fight corruption,” Buhari was quoted to have said.
“We have elections next year, politicians are already preoccupied with the polls, but I am bothered more about security and the economy.”
Buhari added that Nigeria and Britain have a long history of cooperation on several fronts.
“People ought to know how they arrived where they are, if they would move forward. It was a mistake for us to have stopped the teaching of history as a subject in schools, but we are returning it to the curriculum now,” he said.
“British companies like Unilever, Cadbury, and many others have stood with Nigeria through thick and thin. Even when we fought a Civil War, they never left.
“But like Oliver Twist, we ask for more investments. We are encouraging more British companies to come to Nigeria. We appreciate the support you have given in training and equipping our military, particularly in the war against insurgency, but we want to also continue to work with you on trade and investment.”
Briefing May on the strides in the education sector, Buhari said more investment was being made, because “people can look after themselves if well educated. In this age of technology, education is very important. We need well-staffed and well-equipped institutions to move into the next generation”.
In her remarks, May said Britain would continue to work with Nigeria in the areas of training and equipping the military.
She was particular about the abduction of young schoolgirls by Boko Haram, noting that Britain would continue to give Nigeria needed assistance.
The prime minister said the Buhari administration has “been making good progress on the economy,” and urged it to maintain the focus, despite approaching elections, and increase in political activities.
On education and climate change, she declared: “Good grounding in education is good. It is important to equip young people for today’s world. It is also a good bastion and defence against modern slavery. The issue of the environment and climate change is very important, because of its impact on many countries in the Commonwealth. Stability at home is important, to curb illegal migration.”