December 1, 2021

NEWS AGENCY OF NIGERIA

Africa's Media Giant

Nigeria, S/Arabia agree to boost economic cooperation

By Ismaila Chafe

Nigeria and Saudi Arabia have agreed to boost trade, investment and economic cooperation for mutual benefits.

Malam Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, confirmed this development to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Makkah, Saudi Arabia, on Thursday.

According to him, the Nigerian delegation led by President Buhari, discussed with the Saudis on several issues, including the need for their countries to continue coordination in the fight against extremism and terrorism.

Shehu, who spoke on the take-aways from the president’s visit to Saudi Arabia, said:

“For me, the most important one is…. you that this summit itself was co-summoned by the Saudis with over 5, 200 participants and to have chosen President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria to deliver the keynote is in itself a major recognition for him and the Nigerian State.

“It was for us to market Nigeria and make the most of these opportunities and I think the president has done this so well – even the address he read.

“Look at all of the things he has said about how attractive Nigeria is in terms of investment and how much his administration is doing in order to overcome the challenges that are on the ground that had stood in the way of investment.

“So, I think the story of Nigeria has been well told by the president at this event, and we are hoping that the response will equally be quite impressive.’’

On the Umrah, Shehu expressed the hope that Nigeria would win the favour of the Almighty God in addressing her challenges.

Members of the President’s delegation included the Ministers of Trade, Industry and Investment, Communications and Digital Economy and Ministers of State, Foreign Affairs as well as Petroleum.

The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari, the Director General of the National Intelligence Agency, Abubakar Rufa’i and business leaders, Aliko Dangote, Abdulsamad Rabiu, Wale Tinubu and Alhaji Dahiru Mangal.

Also commenting on the Riyadh investment summit, the Minister of Trade, Industry and Investment, Niyi Adebayo, said the forum provided Nigeria the opportunity to educate the world on the abundant economic and business opportunities in the country.

He said: “It is always important for Nigeria to be in such an international forum such as this because it gives us an opportunity to tell our story.

“It gives us an opportunity to let the world know what we are doing and why we believe Nigeria is the best investment destination in Africa.

“I was at a forum recently and I pointed out that anybody wishing to do business in Africa must first do business with Nigeria because if you don’t do business in Nigeria you are not doing business in Africa.

“So, we believe that we should come out here, this is an international forum; we should let the world know the Nigerian story.

“We are aware of the problems that we have and we are working to resolve those problems to create an enabling environment for investors,’’ he said. (NAN)