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Nigeria’s Trade minister woos investors in Saudi Arabia

L-R: Khalid Al Falih, Minister of Investment, Saudi Arabia; Dr. Majid Alkassabi, Minister of Commerce, Chairman of Board of Directors of General Authority of Foreign Trade, Saudi Arabia; President Bola Tinubu of Nigeria; Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Doris Uzoka-Anite; and the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Economy, Wale Edun, at the  Nigeria-Saudi Investment Roundtable in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

. Assures of friendly business environment

‘We are cleaning up our system and removing the bottlenecks to allow foreign investors to thrive’

By Valentine Amanze

Nigeria’s Industry, Trade and Investment Minister, Dr. Doris Uzoka-Anite, has assured investors in Saudi Arabia of friendly insentives if they make the country their business hub in Africa.

She also informed them that the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led administration has kick-started several initiatives aimed at improving the business environment for prospective investors to thrive in Nigeria.

The minister gave the assurance at the Nigeria-Saudi Investment Roundtable organised by the minister and her Saudi counterparts in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia at the weekend.

 Her words: “We are cleaning up our system and removing the bottlenecks to allow foreign investors to thrive. Our business environment will be better and friendlier than it has ever been”. 

The minister also disclosed that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu was deploying measures in line with the eight-point priority areas of the Renewed Hope Agenda to retain existing investors as well as attract new ones.

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Besides, she cited some of the bold reforms announced by the President on his inauguration day.

Drawing on the testimonies of Nigerian businessmen such as Alhaji Aliko Dangote at the meeting, Doris Uzoka-Anite said that the investors could leverage Nigeria’s teeming youth population and vast human capital to enjoy significant returns from their investments.

Responding to the remarks by the Nigerian officials, the Saudi businessmen expressed their optimism and signalled their intention to do business with Nigeria.

They further promised to invest more in Nigeria across several sectors as a result of the convincing speech delivered by the President and minister.

The main highlight of the Roundtable was the establishment of the Nigeria-Saudi Business Council to consolidate the new business and economic relationship between both countries.

The inaugural meeting is expected to be held in Nigeria in the first quarter of 2024.

Another key win from the Roundtable was the Saudi government’s promise to send a large business delegation to Nigeria in the first quarter of 2024 to look at concluding investment opportunities deals in Nigeria and preparations for this visit had already commenced with Dr Doris Uzoka-Anite coordinating the planned visit from the Saudi delegation.

Recall that the president, at his inauguration, announced the withdrawal of the stifling fuel subsidy regime and the unification of the forex exchange windows.

Other Nigerian ministers at the event include the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, and the Governor of Niger State on behalf of the Nigerian Governors.

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