Saudi govt. donates 50 tonnes of dates to FG

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By Maureen Okon

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Embassy in Nigeria on Friday donated 50 tonnes of dates to the Federal Government.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the donation was presented by the Saudi Amb. to Nigeria, Mr Faisal Alghamdi.

Dates are basically tropical fruits that are grown on date palm trees.

It is scientifically known as phoenix dactylifera and is one of the healthiest fruits in the world.

It was received by Amb. Murtala Jimoh, the Deputy Director, Middle East and Gulf Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) on behalf of the Nigerian Government.

Alghamdi said that the humanitarian donation reflected the brotherly bond between Nigeria and Saudi Arabia that had lasted for decades.

According to him, the Saudi government through the King Salman’s Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSRelief), has been providing necessary humanitarian assistance to Nigeria at different sectors of the economy.

The ambassador said that it was part of the country’s continued commitment aimed at alleviating the sufferings of people in distress.

“To fulfill its humanitarian pioneering role all over the world, my country has handed over more than 50 tonnes of dates to the friendly and brotherly Nigerian Government, in addition to the 50 tonnes of dates distributed in Kano on Wednesday.

“The relief centre has been providing necessary humanitarian assistance to Nigeria at various fields, the most recent is the execution of Et’am three Initiative done in March through the distribution of food baskets to 5,606 beneficiaries.

“In Kano, Jigawa, Katsina, Borno and Abuja, at the cost of 40, 000 dollars.

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“Furthermore, Suadi government through the KSRelief carried out a medical diagnostic campaign in Abuja, Kano and Lagos in the last quarter of 2023, in which different medical procedures were offered free of charge to Nigerians.

“Today’s handover of dates is part of the annual humanitarian and relief assistance presented by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosque to a number of friendly countries, among which is Nigeria,’’ he said.

Responding, Amb. Jimoh, lauded the initiative of the Saudi government, saying that the 50 tonnes of dates would be distributed accordingly.

According to him, the donation of 50 tonnes of dates from the Saudi Government through the KSRelief means a lot to us, and the dates is meant for the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and Victims of Natural Disasters across the country, particularly in the IDPs camps.

“So, we took a little of the 50 tonnes of dates last week at the MFA and we are here for the symbolic handing over,

“Also this afternoon, Amb. Adamu Ibrahim, the Permanent Secretary MFA, will formally hand over these dates to the Permanent Secretary of the Humanitarian Ministry for onward transmission to affected people across the country.

“So it goes a long way to demonstrate the cordial relationship between Nigeria and the Kingdom, and this is not the first time this gesture is being extended to us.

“It has been done over a period of time that even food materials were supplied to the affected people across the IDPs camps in the country,’’ he said.

According to him, both countries are strategic partners in their respective regions and are key players in these regions.

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“The two countries are strategic countries in their respective regions, in Africa Nigeria is a major player while in the middle-east and gulf, Saudi Arabia is a big player as well.

“The cultural relations have existed, even before the independence of the two countries. We have the religious tourism which has been the core relationship in the past.

“But in the present administration of President Bola Tinubu, he has placed emphasis on a cordial and strategic relationship with the government of Saudi Arabia through the crown Prince and various areas of partnership were discussed.

“The two leaders also agreed on the establishment of the Nigeria-Saudi Arabia business council which will drive the economic relationship moving forward,’’ he said. (NAN) (

Edited by Ese E. Eniola Williams

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