President Goodluck Jonathan Friday in Abuja called for an expansion of bilateral relations between Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates UAE), saying that Nigeria will welcome greater direct investment from the UAE for the development of its power, agricultural, oil and gas, communications and solid minerals sectors.
Speaking at an audience with the UAE’s Minister of Energy, Mr. Suhail bin Mohammed Al Mazrouei, President Jonathan said that he looked forward to the early conclusion of agreements for the protection of investments and avoidance of double taxation between the UAE and Nigeria which are expected to boost the inflow of investments from the emirates to Nigeria.
“The United Arab Emirates and Dubai are becoming increasingly important to us. A large number of Nigerians now visit Dubai on a daily basis. Assure your leadership that we are keen on developing and expanding areas of cooperation between us,” President Jonathan told Mr. Mazrouei who was at the Presidential Villa as a Special Envoy of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Ruler of Dubai and Vice President of the UAE.
President Jonathan also seized the opportunity of Mr. Mazrouei’s visit to restate his call for greater international cooperation against the scourge of terrorism.
“We must all cooperate to fight terrorism because no part of the world can be truly safe as long as terrorists remain amongst us. In parts of our country, terrorism is obstructing socio-economic development and increasing poverty. We need cooperation and collaboration from our friends globally to successfully overcome it,” the President said.
He assured Mr. Mazrouei of Nigeria’s support for Dubai’s bid to host the 2020 World Expo, saying that he believed the emirate had developed the capacity to successfully host the event.
Mr. Mazrouei had conveyed greetings from the leadership of the UAE to President Jonathan, and congratulated him, on their behalf, on Nigeria’s recent celebration of its 53rd independence anniversary.
The UAE Energy Minister assured President Jonathan that the emirates would like to boost their relationship with Nigeria through major investments in the country.
“The conclusion of the treaties we are working on will encourage our private sector to engage more in Nigeria,” Mr. Mazrouei told President Jonathan.
He also briefed President Jonathan on Dubai’s bid to host the 2020 World Expo under the theme: “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”.