Nigeria gets $2 billion pledge as it advances mining sector dev’t campaign in Abu Dhabi
Story from Abah ADAH, Abuja
In its effort to improve the economy, create jobs for teeming unemployed, and engender infrastructure development among others while diversifying the economy from oil, the Nigeria government took its mining sector foreign investment drive and development to the just held Dubai World Expo 2021 where it received a pledge of US$2 billion in support of its development campaign from the government of United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Nigeria’s Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Dr Uchechukwu Sampson Ogah while delivering the “Special Address” at the annual event which took place in Abu Dhabi, the UAE capital, with the theme “Investment in the Nigerian Gold Sector: Opportunities in the Gold Value Chain, told the world that Nigeria is seeking foreign investments for the development of its minerals sector.
In a statement issued by the Press and Public Relations Unit of the ministry, Ogah, who was honoured with the “Excellence In Public Service Award” by FIN-Africa-UAE Trade and Investment Forum, Dubai, expressed gratitude to His Royal Highness, Sheikh Hamdan bin Khalifa, for the whopping sum of $2bn pledged Nigeria for the country’s sustainable development drive.
He assured of the federal government’s commitment to ensure appropriate deployment of the funds when the Agreement is signed.
The Minister noted that the Expo, which drew participants from over 200 countries, provided the opportunity to showcase the potentials of the Nigerian minerals sector on Dubai soil with special emphasis on gold and other precious minerals abundant in Nigeria.
His words, “I must confess that there cannot be a better platform to showcase the Nigeria Gold sub-sector than on this platform with notable global organizations and investors, minerals beneficiation companies, global financial institutions, commodity trading companies etc all in one event.
The Minister disclosed that the need for the diversification of the economy has become more compelling now in the post-COVID-19, adding that the federal government had established policies that would support the sustainable development of Nigeria’s gold resources as well as matters on gold mining administration and incentives.
In his remarks, Zulfiquar Ghadiyali, Executive Director, Royal Office of Sheikh Hamdan bin Khalifa and Global Peace Ambassador, United Nations, said the pledge of 2 billion dollars from its Sustainability Fund is to further cement the very close trade and bilateral relationship that exist between the two countries. He noted that peace in Africa can only be attained through sustainability development, adding, “if there is a substantial development, you will automatically have peace”.
In a related development, the Minister of State, Dr Uchechukwu Sampson Ogah, at the Intra-African Trade Fair 2021 held at the Durban International Convention Centre, South Africa, earlier, with the theme, “Building Bridges for a Successful AfCFTA”, noted that the promotion of Intra-African Trade Fair is a unique platform for facilitating trade and investment as well as information exchange in support of African Continental Free Trade Area, (AfCFTA) which according to him is a great medium for accelerating Africa’s integrated development as a pivotal continent.
Ogah who revealed that Nigeria has unlimited trade opportunities that the African economy can leverage on expressed appreciation to the organizers, African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and the African Union Commission (AUC), the Republic of South African and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat for the laudable event.