Nigeria signs $16b investment pact with UAE

The Guardian | Friday, January 16, 2009

THE Federal Government, yesterday, in Abuja, signed a $16 billion development cooperation agreement with the Dubai World Corporation (DWC), in the United Arab Emirate (UAE).

The agreement covers investment co-operation in real sector, agriculture, power, oil and gas. DWC is an arm of the Ministry of Commerce of the UAE.

Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Chief Michael Aondoakaa, in his remark, described the agreement as "one of the biggest commitments by any block of the world to look into what is happening in Africa".

"This will further compliment government's budgetary efforts in bringing development to the Ministry of Niger Delta, which is one of the critical ministries,'' he said.

According to Aondoakaa, efforts are ongoing to attract more investments from the UAE.

Sultan Ahmad Bin Sulayem, leader of the delegation, described Nigeria as "a land of opportunities."

"Nigeria has a lot of human resources. I have been opportuned to work with many bright Nigerians and there are many natural resources in the country.

"Currently we have operations in 100 cities around the world and in Africa our focus will naturally be in Nigeria,'' he added.

Sulayem said that the agreement covered infrastructure projects with the main emphasis in oil and gas.

"We believe that the agreement we are going to sign with the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), will enhance the production of oil and gas in the country," he said.

He expressed optimism that in spite of the global economic crisis, the cooperation would yield positive result, adding that "only the brilliant and those that have experience will survive the depression."

Also speaking, the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs 1, Alhaji Jubril Maigari, said that the agreement, which falls under the South-South Cooperation, would further consolidate the bilateral relations between the two countries.

Aondoakaa signed on behalf of the Federal Government, while Sultan Sulayem signed for the Dubai World Corporation.

Nigeria's ambassador in the UAE, Alhaji Bashir Yuguda, facilitated the agreement, which covers real estate, agriculture, power, oil and gas, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.

NAN reports that Dubai World Corporation is an arm of the Ministry of Commerce of the UAE.

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