Spain seeks more investment in Nigeria

Solomon Chung, Abuja

In spite of her challenges, Nigeria is largely a great country with huge potentials for greater success in the economy, security and good governance, the country’s Information and Culture Minister, Lai Mohammed has said.

According to him, Nigeria remains a destination for investment regardless of any challenges.

“We do often receive investors in their numbers regardless of what they read or hear about us.”

He stated this when the Spanish Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Alfonso Sebastian paid a courtesy call on him in his office in Abuja on Friday.

Mohammed said the negative narrative and reportage about Nigeria was unfortunate and must change.

“Most of the negative narrative about Nigeria is exaggerated. We must tell the world the true story and paint the true picture.”

He then stated that he intends to visit Spain in the weeks ahead to woo investors especially in the tourism sub sector.

“We already have a ten year collaboration with Spain in the area of Arts, Photography, Painting and others but we intend to strengthen it and even expand the frontiers. We want to expand it to tourism, security and many more.”

The Spanish Ambassador, Mr Alfonso Sebastian said that Spain had tremendous respect for Nigeria in the international arena.

He said the trade volume between Nigeria and Spain is huge.

According to him, before the oil price crunch, Spain was buying Nigeria’s crude and gas to the tune of 6.5 billion euros but now with the drop in oil price, it is about 4.3 billion euros.

“Our partnership is strategic. There are lots of lessons to learn from each other. We are planning to invest in renewable and solar energy in Nigeria.

We have also instituted strong institutions to fight corruption in Spain so Nigeria can also share with us in these experiences. We know that Nigeria is strong enough to surmount her challenges.”

Answering questions on the Catolonia referendum in Spain, he said the issue was handled according to the law of the land as the Spanish constitution does not accept an enclave or a part of the country to go into referendum.

“The Spanish constitution discussed about people of Spain not Catalonia choosing to go for a referendum. So it’s about the Spanish people in general and that was how the matter was resolved.”