President Bola Tinubu will, this week, depart Abuja for Riyadh, the capital of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, to attend the Saudi-Africa summit and the Arab African summit, both scheduled to hold on November 10 and 11, 2023, respectively.
Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, revealed this on Sunday when he briefed State House Correspondents at the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja.
He noted that Tinubu's appearance at the summits marks fresh moves to engage Arab nations to attract businesses and additional Foreign Direct Investment to Nigeria.
He announced, “His Excellency President Bola Tinubu will be heading to Riyadh, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, to attend two major summits.
“The first of which is the Saudi-Africa Summit, at which several areas of mutual concern will be addressed with respect to the economic ties between the regions, issues of counterterrorism, the environment, agriculture, and many other areas of mutual concern.”
Ngelale disclosed that Tinubu's participation aims to accelerate trade and investment between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the African continent.
“President Tinubu is very keen on ensuring that the Federal Republic of Nigeria within the context of the continent is in a position to maximally leverage on opportunities that will be afforded by the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, where we will be having a single trade market of over 1 billion Africans.
“The expectation, according to the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, is that by the year 2050, our market here on the continent would have surpassed $29tn,” the presidential aide said.
President Tinubu will attend the Arab-African summit holding on November 11 in his capacity as the chairman of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of Government.
His participation, Ngelale said, will deepen the partnership between the League of Arab Nations and the African Union.
This would foster integration in terms of infrastructure, facilitation and the establishment of a new high-speed train network that would tie Arab nations from the Middle East and Northern Africa to the rest of the continent.
Giving specifics on what Nigeria stands to gain from the outings, Ngelale said projections are on bringing back tangible and stronger economic connections and increased commerce and trade relations between Nigeria and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and between the country and the entire Arab world.
He explained, “Certainly, Mr. President is passionate about any areas in which we can really leverage on the massive population and market that not just Africa presents, but that Nigeria itself presents.
“We expect that the outcomes of this summit will lead to very tangible results with respect to an increase in trade between not just the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, but all Arab nations, and especially the leading economies in Africa, of which Nigeria is now number one.
“So we believe there's much to gain from these two summits. Of course, as we are there, you can fully expect that you will be briefed on a routine basis with concrete details as to what the outcomes are from not just the Saudi African summit but also the Arab-African Summit, but obviously with a particular emphasis on what the Federal Republic of Nigeria stands to gain under the leadership of His Excellency Bola Tinubu.”
The Presidential spokesman affirmed that the President would be “very aggressive” in his promotion and pursuit of new foreign direct investment, adding that Tinubu would continue in Riyadh what he has been doing worldwide since he assumed office.
This included “meeting with investors across sectors” and proactively pushing for “new inflows of foreign exchange into the Nigerian economy, through investments in growth-enabling and labour-intensive sectors of the economy.”
Concluding his briefing, Ngelale said, “I want to assure the Nigerian people today that President Bola Tinubu is going to do everything he can to reinvigorate the Nigerian economy through the instrumentation of his leading participation in these two important summits.”