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Ramaphosa’s visit successful despite Omicron COVID variant scare – President Buhari

Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has disclosed that the visit of President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa was sucessful despite the concerns triggered by the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

Recall that the Nigerian president received his counterpart in South Africa, Ramaphosa at the presidential villa on Wednesday.

According to a statement issued by Femi Adesina, presidential spokesperson, both leaders subsequently proceeded for a meeting.

During the sit-down, new memoranda of understanding (MOU) between Nigeria and South Africa were signed while existing ones were reviewed.

“We have now come to the end of a very successful state visit and the 10th Session of the Nigeria-South Africa Bi-National Commission,” the president was quoted as saying.

”Despite the scare generated by the new COVID-19 variant, we have been able to hold successful meetings, while observing strict COVID-19 protocols, through fraternal cooperation and understanding.

”I sincerely wish to thank my brother and colleague, President Cyril Ramaphosa for honouring my invitation. I equally wish to thank members of the South African delegation and the experts that worked tirelessly during the Senior Officials Meeting.

”Today, has witnessed the signing of new Memoranda of Understanding between Nigeria and South Africa in diverse areas including Youth Development, Women and Child Empowerment and Political Consultations; critical areas that will lead to increased people to people contact.

”Also, existing MOUs signed during previous Bi-National Commission meetings were also reviewed. These include MOUs on Military Cooperation, Power, Cooperation in the field of Geology, Mining, and Mineral Processing, Oil and Gas and several others.

”Today, we also jointly launched the Nigeria-South Africa Youth Dialogue, another veritable tool for interaction among our youth with the aim of creating shared values and aspiration. Many of our youth, from Nigeria and South Africa joined us virtually during the launch.”

On his part, President Ramaphosa condemned the travel bans imposed on some African countries by the developed nations upon the discovery of the Omicron variant.

He called for a reversal of the travel restrictions, adding that the pandemic “requires that we collaborate and work together as a collective”.

Ramaphosa said the restrictions will have a “long-lasting” negative impact on the economies of the countries affected.

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