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Buhari leaves for AU summit in Ethiopia

President Muhammadu Buhari will, on Thursday, leave Abuja for Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to participate in the 36th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African…

President Muhammadu Buhari will, on Thursday, leave Abuja for Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to participate in the 36th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union (AU).

The President will be accompanied on the trip by some Ministers and other top government officials.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, announced this in a statement issued on Thursday.

He said the President would participate in three High Level meetings on peace and security, climate change and the political situation in some West African countries at the AU Summit themed “Acceleration of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Implementation.”

Shehu said the first would be the Peace and Security Council (PSC) meeting of Heads of State and Government on the situation in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (AUPSC High Level AU), to be chaired by the President of South Africa, in his capacity as the Chair of the Council for the month of February.

The presidential spokesman said second one would be the meeting of the Committee of the Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSCC), currently chaired by the President of Niger Republic.

He added that on the margins of the annual meetings of the AU, President Buhari will also attend an extraordinary summit of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS.

Buhari will deliver remarks at these events as well as present his National Statement at the opening session of the Summit, which brings together leaders from the AU member countries as well as a number of non-AU countries and international institutions accredited to the AU in Addis Ababa.

Shehu said the President will return to Abuja on Monday, February 20.

The President embarks on the trip after a national broadcast where he announced the extension of the validity of only old N200 banknotes to circulate as legal tender with the new N200, N500, and N1000 banknotes for 60 days from February 10, 2023 to April 10 2023 to address the challenges of currency swap.

“In line with Section 20(3) of the CBN Act 2007, all existing old N1000 and N500 notes remain redeemable at the CBN and designated points,” he added.

He had also assured Nigerians that his administration would continue to assess the implementation with a view to ensuring that Nigerians were not unnecessarily burdened, adding that the CBN shall ensure that new notes become more available and accessible to citizens through the banks.
He again appealed for understanding till “we overcome this difficult transient phase within the shortest possible time.”

The President had addressed citizens amid protests in some states across the country over the scarcity of cash following the implementation of the currency redesign policy by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

The case before the Supreme Court against the CBN on the naira redesign policy had been moved to Wednesday, February 22.

At least six state governments are challenging the naira swap policy at the apex court.

The supreme court had said its order suspending the implementation of the February 10 deadline on the old naira notes still subsists.

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