Nigeria is wooing the Saudi Arabian Government to invest in the country’s solid minerals sector in a bid to further boost the economy.
Dele Alake, the minister of Solid Minerals Development, and his Saudi Arabian counterpart, Bandar AlKhorayef, who led the delegations of both countries to the Future Minerals Forum (FMF) held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, resolved to strengthen collaboration between both countries to enhance the development of solid minerals as the world transits from fossil fuels to cleaner energy.
Alake in a statement signed by Segun Tomori, his special assistant on media, harped on the need to forge a partnership. He emphasised that the global energy transition is contingent on critical minerals which exist in Nigeria.
“We need a lot of investments in exploration, exploitation, extraction, processing, and local value addition. We realise that we must look at regions outside of Africa to collaborate, further consolidate, and enhance our capacity to explore and exploit the natural resources that we have.
“For us to maximally utilise, exploit, and derive maximum revenue for our own economic and infrastructural development, we need to have a very solid partnership with nations like Saudi Arabia.
“Saudi Arabia has always displayed good affinity to Nigeria, and it is historical. We have always been desirous of reciprocating this very positive gesture, and there is no better area to ensure that reciprocity than to ensure we consolidate our partnerships in areas of economic development. We are willing and open to investments in Nigeria, especially in the mining sector,” the minister said.
Alake further stressed the need for investments in local value addition involving the processing of solid minerals that will culminate in the production and establishment of factories in Nigeria, adding that it will generate employment and have a multiplier effect on the economy.
He emphasised the readiness of the Nigerian team to work with their Saudi Arabian counterpart to finetune specifics and map out strategies to concretise areas of collaboration within a specified time frame.
Throwing light on incentives for investment, Alake cited the policy of President Bola Tinubu on repatriation of profits by foreign investors, tax waivers on imported equipment specifically directed at the mining sector and a rejigged security architecture which he hinted will soon come on stream to effectively secure mining areas in the country.
In his part, AlKhorayef said that the Saudi Arabian Government placed a premium on local value addition whilst welcoming collaboration with Nigeria.