Federal Government To Strengthen Ties With UAE- Minister

By Chika Eze, Abuja

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The Nigerian Government has expressed its commitment to deepen bilateral ties with the United Arab Emirates (UAE), through investment opportunities.

The Minister of State Petroleum Resources (Oil), Heineken Lokpobiri stated this when the UAE Ambassador to Nigeria, Salem Saeed Al-Shamsi, paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja.

The Minister stated that Nigeria would improve on its existing relationship with the UAE, saying he has been interfacing with his counterpart in the UAE in that regard.

“Nigeria as a country is committed to the Paris Agreement but we are also saying that no country is slowing down on fossil fuel production, particularly for Africa; we need to create more investment opportunities for investments to come in so that we can create the requisite funding for us to be able to finance our transition,” he enlightened.

He also noted that every country in the world including the UAE which is among the leading countries in terms of the flow of investments achieved their successes from investment flow. 

“For us in Africa, in Nigeria particularly, what we are looking for is to build strategic partnership with the UAE and the rest of the world so that we would be able to raise the money that is needed to finance energy transition as canvassed globally.”

Lokpobiri called on investors in the UAE to come and invest in  Nigeria.

“The quickest way for any investor to get returns from investment is through the oil and gas sector.

“Nigeria has enormous investment opportunities. Our pipelines need renewal. The pipelines have been there for over 50 years. Nigeria found oil in commercial quantity in 1956. From then till now, it’s almost 70 years and most of those pipelines were built around that time, so they have already outlived their lifespan” 

“Even if you can produce, you need to evacuate to the terminals where you could do export. So, it’s an opportunity we are looking up to for potential investors from the UAE to come and invest and recover their money through those investments”

The Minister noted that Nigeria should be doing more than the crude deposit volumes of 37 billion barrels.

“At the inception of the current administration, part of what was said was the need to resume our drilling campaigns to ensure that we make more discoveries and sustain that momentum.

“We are achieving that by liberalizing the processes, we are trying to limit the bureaucracy which has been one of the reasons why some of these investments were delayed; we are trying to make things easier for those who want to invest.

“We want to assure the UAE that Nigeria is open for investments and we are committed to deepening our very strategic relationship,” the Minister stated.

He expressed his readiness to work very closely with the Ambassador so that potential investors from the UAE can come and invest in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector. 

In his response, the UAE Ambassador to Nigeria, H.E Salem Saeed Al-Shamsi thanked the Minister for his warm reception and he expressed excitement about the improvement in the economy of Nigeria.

He stated that the technical teams from the Ministry and the UAE Embassy would need to interface and explore areas of collaboration and partnership between the two countries.

 

Lantana Nasir

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