The Nigeria’s quest for Direct Foreign Investment (DFI) has received a boost, following the successful hosting of the Foreign Investment Network FIN Africa-UAE Trade and Investment Forum as key leaders of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have pledged $2 billion investment in Nigeria’s mining sector.
The commitment was made by the office of the past ruler of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE), His Royal Highness, Sheikh Hamdan bin Khalifa, during the 2021 Edition of FIN Women Africa – UAE Trade and Investment Forum, Award & Exhibition in Dubai.
The donations, according to Khalifa and Global Peace Ambassador, United Nations, Zulfiquar Ghadiyali, was to further cement the close trade and bilateral relationship that exists between the two countries.
Kaduna State Governor Nasir el-Rufai, who was one of the key speakers and who spoke virtually at the event, canvassed for more investments in Nigeria.
He added that Nigeria remains the strongest economy in Africa and open for more business opportunities.
The Minister of State, Mines and Steel Development, Mr. Uchechukwu Sampson Ogah, also made the disclosure when he delivered the, “Special Address” at the Dubai World Expo 2021, with the theme “Investment in the Nigerian Gold Sector: Opportunities in the Gold Value Chain” in Abu Dhabi.
The minister, who was honoured with the “Excellence in Public Service Award,” by FIN-Africa-UAE Trade and Investment Forum Dubai, expressed gratitude to Khalifa over the amount he pledged for Nigeria’s sustainable development drive.
Ogah also disclosed that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration was determined to consolidate on the gains of diversification as it forms the critical backbone of industrialisation.
The Expo, had participants from over 200 countries, and provided the opportunity to showcase the potential of the Nigerian minerals sector on Dubai soil with special emphasis on gold and other precious minerals abundant in Nigeria.
In her address at the event, the Chairman of FIN, Mrs Olayinka Fayomi, said Africa is one of the most important markets for the UAE.
She explained that the event was designed to consolidate and expand business and investment synergy between Africa and the United Arab Emirate (UAE), open windows of opportunities where international investors and project financing institutions can connect with existing infrastructure and investments gaps in Africa.
According to her, the Africa-UAE Investment Forum has the sole purpose of opening the doors of the African continent to International investors from the Middle East.
She said, “Just recently, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, singled out Africa as one of the most promising business partners for Dubai in the coming years.
“According to data recently released by UAE’s Ministry of Foreign Trade, UAE’s overall trade with six non-Arab African countries like Angola, Kenya, Nigeria, Ethiopia, South Africa and Tanzania reached US$ 8 billion in 2020.
” the UAE – COMESA (Burundi, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sudan, Eswatini, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe) trade volume is expected to attract an estimated 600 million consumers by 2025.
“It is estimated that the UAE’s total non-oil trade with Africa is worth US$ 25 billion – and this figure is expected to further rise in coming years.
United Nations COMTRADE database on international trade showed that European Union exports to UAE was US$30.02 Billion in 2020; The U.S. goods trade surplus with UAE was $15.6 billion in 2019; UAE imports from China was US$39.37 Billion in 2020; Its imports from Japan was US$9.46 Billion in 2020.
“However, Africa still has only 18% trade share with UAE, the lowest when compared with other partners. Experts have argued that the poor trade relationship between Africa and UAE is majorly slowed by poor infrastructure.
“From the fore going, it is safe to conclude that Africa is in dare need of massive investment into critical infrastructure and UAE has shown that it has both the capacity and technology to transform the continent through Private Sector Investment.