Nigeria Taps Saudi Expertise to Unlock Untapped Mineral Wealth.
As the world transitions from fossil fuel to cleaner energy, Nigeria and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have resolved to strengthen the cooperation between both countries to enhance the development of solid minerals.
The minister of solid minerals development, Dr. Dele Alake and his Saudi Arabian counterpart, Bandar AlKhorayef, led the delegations to the bilateral meeting of both countries at the sidelines of the Future Minerals Forum (FMF) going on in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Special assistant on media to the minister of solid minerals development, Segun Tomori, who disclosed this in a statement he made available to journalists yesterday in Abuja, said that the minister , in his speech, asserted the need for both nations to forge partnership, emphasising that global energy transition is contingent on critical minerals, plenty of which exist in Nigeria
Alake said: “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 in exploring and exploiting 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 on our partnerships in areas of economic development. We are willing and open to investments in Nigeria, especially in the mining sector.”
Alake called for investment in local value addition involving the processing of solid minerals that will culminate in production and establishment of factories in Nigeria, which, he noted, 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.
Alake noted that the present administration of President Bola Tinubu had provided incentives for investors 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 response, Mr. AlKhorayef welcomed the collaboration with Nigeria and revealed that Saudi Arabia also places a premium on local value addition.
Both countries thereafter resolved to set up a joint technical committee to follow through in areas of partnership coupled with a workable action plan, guided by timelines, to harness areas of comparative advantage for mining sector development.