Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan, who jetted into Malawi Monday morning, has described his trip to the country as a great opportunity.
Speaking after he signed the visitorâ€™s book and Freemanâ€™s roll at the Lilongwe City Council, Jonathan said all along he had wanted to visit the country.
â€œI am delighted to be in the country, I have not been able to visit the nation but since today I am here, I am very happy,â€ Jonathan said.
The Freemanâ€™s roll means the Nigerian president is free to participate in any civic function in the city.
The president said Malawi and Nigeria share a lot in common and it was important to maintain the relations.
Acting chief executive officer (CEO) for the city council, Vito Mulula welcomed the Nigerian leader by presenting him with the scroll and a symbolic key to him as a way of accepting him as a citizen of Lilongwe.
The CEO briefed the president on the history of the city and its vision which, he said, is to be a productive, an inclusive, a well-governed and a sustainable one.
President Jonathan is on a two-day visit to Malawi during which he is expected to hold bilateral talks with his Malawian counterpart, President Joyce Banda. The talks are aimed at fostering socioeconomic and diplomatic ties between the two countries.
According to Principal Secretary in the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Patrick Kabambe, the Nigerian president will also launch the National Cassava Initiative Programme along the Mchinji Road.
â€œWe want to tap the expertise from the Nigerians who are good at cassava farming,â€ said the PS.
Jonathan, who leads Africaâ€™s most populous nation, was also expected meet Nigerians living in the country before being treated to a State banquet at the New State House. (Additional reporting by Yvonnie Sundu).