Nigeria to establish a Nigerian – Saudi Council with Saudi Arabia

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President Buhari and Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman | NAN

SAUDI ARABIA – Nigeria and Saudi Arabia has agreed Thursday to install Nigerian-Saudi Council vested with the function of fostering business relationships between the two countries.

According to News Agency of Nigeria(NAN), President Muhammadu Buhari made this agreement with the Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, in a bilateral meeting he had with the Saudi Crown Prince during 29th-31st October Future Investment Initiative conference held in Ritz Carlton and the King Abdul A​ziz Conference Center, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The the Senior Special Assistant, Media and Publicity to the president, Malam Garba Shehu, in a statement told reporters that the meeting between the two leaders was initially planned to hold in Prince Salman’s office, however the meeting later held in President Buhari’s hotel room as a show of respect to the president by the Crown Prince.

Malam Garba said that the composition of the council will made up of officials from the two countries whose area of concentration would be on security, commercial interests and  investments in oil and non-oil sectors.

”President Buhari and the Crown Prince agreed that the first assignment for the Council is to establish a legal and operational framework that will facilitate investments beneficial to both countries,” Malam Garba said.

”The Council will be established in the next two months while meetings will be held twice every year,” he explained.

”To ensure that relations between both countries remain active, it was also agreed that leaders of both countries, at the highest level, will meet at least once every year to review the progress of the joint council and ensure closer collaboration on issues of mutual interest,” Malam Garba said further.

The Saudi Crown Prince in his statement opined that the security situation in Sahel region should be considered a global issue.

‘‘Saudi Arabia is prepared to participate in the engagement and sensitisation of the whole world to the problems in sub-Saharan Africa,’’ he said.

On the bilateral relationship with Nigeria, Mohammed said, ‘‘Saudi Arabia is eager to support Nigeria and we want to be a part of Nigeria’s journey to be among the top 20 economies in the world.’’

President Muhammadu Buhari in his speech agreed with the Crown Prince’s opinion that with the fall of ISIS in Iraq and Syria, Sahel region remains the only territory where terrorism is pronounced.

He appreciated the Crown Prince for his interest in instituting the council as well as wanting to do business with Nigeria, which he said will bring about stronger ties between the two countries.

‘‘Nigeria has a large population mainly made up of dynamic, young people and partnerships of this type will help them to be productive and prosperous,’’ he said.

He also applauded Mohammed for desire of the Saudi government to make security situation in Sahel region a key point agenda.

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