Wednesday, 24 April, 2024

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Tinubu Heads to Saudi-Africa, Arab-African Summits in Riyadh


President Bola Tinubu is ready to take his government’s aggressive push for attracting more foreign direct investments and infrastructure boost into Nigeria to Saudi Arabia, where he will attend two bilateral summit this week.

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, who disclosed this to newsmen at the State House, Abuja on Sunday, said President Tinubu will be participating in two critical summits — the Saudi-African Summit and the Arab-African Summit — both taking place in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia on November 10 and 11 respectively.

The events, according to Ngelale, are targeted at different areas of interests, while the outings are going to be critical to how Nigeria takes advantage of the projected potentials of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), with its over one billion population and $29 trillion market.

The presidential spokesperson said the Saudi-African Summit’s target will be exploring issues around the economic ties between Africa and Saudi Arabia, including counter-terrorism, agriculture, environment and other areas of mutual concern. 

Ngelale said the second outing of the President in Saudi Arabia, being the Arab-African Summit, will be focusing on expanding infrastructure between both regions and will particularly be paying attention to the establishment of a new high-speed train network between the Arab League of Nations and the African Union countries.

He said: “President Bola Tinubu will be heading to Riyadh, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, to attend two major summits. The first of which is the Saudi-Africa Summit, at which several areas of mutual concern will be addressed with respect to the economic ties between the regions with respect to the issues of counterterrorism, the environment, agriculture, and many other areas of mutual concern, where we feel much more can be done in terms of accelerating the level of trade and investment between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the African continent.

“Obviously, His Excellency, President Tinubu, is very keen on ensuring that the Federal Republic of Nigeria, within the context of the continent, is in a position to maximally leverage on opportunities that will be afforded by the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, where we will be having a single trade market of over one billion Africans, the expectation, according to the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, is that by the year 2050, our market here on the continent would have surpassed $29 trillion. We believe that action toward that begins now.

“So the president is going to be very active and leading that effort from the forefront. That will be holding on November 10, followed by a very important summit. That is the Arab-African Summit holding on November 11, where His Excellency, President Bola Tinubu, in his capacity, not just as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, but also as the Chairman of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of Government, will be taking part in the summit, ensuring that he is at the forefront of advocating for really a deepening partnership of the two regions, that is the League of Arab Nations as well as the African Union, with respect to how we can integrate in terms of our infrastructure, how we can facilitate the establishment of a new high speed train network that would tie Arab nations from the Middle East and Northern Africa, to the rest of the African continent.”

Commenting specifically on what Nigeria stands to gain from the outings, the presidential spokesperson said projections are on bringing back tangible and stronger economic connections and increased commerce and trade relations, not just between Nigeria and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, but between the country and the entire Arab world.

According to him, “Certainly, His Excellency Mr. President is passionate about any areas in which we can really leverage on the massive population and market that not just Africa presents, but that Nigeria itself presents. We are expecting that the outcomes of this summit will lead to very tangible results with respect to increase in trade between not just the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, but all Arab nations, and especially the leading economies in Africa, of which Nigeria is now number one.

“So we believe there’s a lot to be gained from these two summits. Of course, as we are there, you can fully expect that you will be briefed on a routine basis with concrete details as to what the outcomes are from not just the Saudi African summit, but also the Arab-African Summit, but obviously with a particular emphasis on what the Federal Republic of Nigeria stands to gain under the leadership of His Excellency Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

“The last point I want to make is that His Excellency, Mr. President, is going to be very aggressive, as always, in his promotion and pursuit of new foreign direct investment. It’s no secret what he’s been doing around the world since he assumed office that will continue in Riyadh.

“We will be meeting with investors across sectors, we will be pushing very proactively for new inflows of foreign exchange into the Nigerian economy, through investments in really growth-enabling and labour-intensive sectors of the economy.

“There should be more information on that once we get into Riyadh, but what I want to assure the Nigerian people today is that His Excellency President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is going to do everything he can to reinvigorate the Nigerian economy, through the instrumentation of his leading participation in these two important summits.”

Credit: This Day

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