The Federal Government has secured a $2 billion pledge of foreign direct investment (FDI) to be deployed in the development of Nigeria’s mining sector.
The Minister of State, Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Uchechukwu Ogah, made this known during his address at the Dubai World Expo 2021, themed “Investment in the Nigerian gold sector: Opportunities in the gold value chain”, held in Abu Dhabi.
The $2bn pledge made by His Royal Highness, Sheikh Hamdan bin Khalifa, aimed to compliment government’s effort to improve the economic sphere of the country, create jobs for teeming Nigerian youths, provide infrastructural development and deliver on its mandate to diversify the economy from crude oil via investments in the country’s minerals’ sector.
Ogah assured of the Federal Government’s commitment to ensure appropriate deployment of the funds when the agreement is signed.
Speaking further, the minister noted that the expo, with participants from over 200 countries, provided the opportunity to showcase the potentials of Nigeria’s minerals sector on Dubai soil, with special emphasis on gold and other precious minerals abundant in Nigeria.
“I must confess that there cannot be a better platform to showcase the Nigeria Gold sub-sector than on this platform with notable global organisations and investors, minerals beneficiation companies, global financial institutions, commodity trading companies etc., all in one event,” he added.
Ogah disclosed that the need for the diversification of the economy has become more compelling in the post-COVID-19 era, adding that the government has established policies that will support the sustainable development of Nigeria’s gold resources and development, as well as consideration of general matters on gold mining administration and incentives.
He disclosed that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration remained determined to consolidate on the gains of diversification as it forms the critical backbone of industrialisation.
In his remarks, the executive director, Royal Office of Sheikh Hamdan bin Khalifa and Global Peace Ambassador, United Nations, Zulfiquar Ghadiyali, disclosed that the pledge of $2billion from its sustainability fund, is to further cement the very close trade and bilateral relationship that exists between the two countries. He noted that peace in Africa can only be attained through sustainability development.
“If there is substantial development, you will automatically have peace.”
In a related development, at the Intra-African Trade Fair 2021 held at the Durban International Convention Centre, South Africa, recently, themed “Building Bridges for a Successful AfCFTA”, Ogah noted that the promotion of the 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), remained a great medium for accelerating Africa’s integrated development as a pivotal continent.
Ogah said Nigeria has unlimited trade opportunities that the African economy can leverage on and expressed appreciation to the organisers, African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), the African Union Commission (AUC), the Republic of South Africa and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) secretariat for the laudable event.