Buhari Woos Saudi Businessmen To Invest In Nigeria’s Agric, Solid Minerals Sectors
BEVERLY HILLS, February 24, (THEWILL) – President Muhammadu Buhari late Tuesday expressed the commitment of his administration to increase the productivity of Nigeria's agriculture and solid minerals sectors in order to save the country from the harsh effects of lower crude oil prices.
Speaking in Riyadh at a meeting with leading members of the Council of Saudi Arabia's Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the President noted that with declining revenues from crude oil exports, Nigeria's hopes of economic resurgence now lie in the rapid development of its immense agricultural and solid mineral resources.
Inviting Saudi Arabian businessmen to invest in both sectors, he assured that his administration will welcome greater foreign investment in support of its efforts to rapidly diversify the Nigerian economy.
Buhari regretted that Nigeria had depended too much on crude oil exports to the neglect of other resources and was now paying a harsh price for failing to diversify its economy early enough.
According to him, “With the downturn in the global prices of oil, we now have to prospect our solid minerals. We have to return to agriculture. Mining and agriculture are our hopes now.
We will welcome investments in these areas. We will appreciate an in-flow of more resources and expertise to help us achieve our objective of economic diversification.”
The governors of Osun, Ogun, Katsina, Borno, and Zamfara states, who were part of the President’s delegation, took turns to address the Saudi Arabian businessmen on investment possibilities in their states, assuring them of good returns.
The Chairman of the Council of the Saudi Arabian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Dr Abdulrahman Al Zamil said that agriculture was a very important area of investment for its members, adding that they were already in Brazil, the United States of America and Sudan, “where we have huge farms.”
While expressing their willingness to invest in Nigeria, Dr Abdulrahman Al Zamil said that the Saudis were the leading investors in Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Kenya and Ethiopia.