NIGERIAN President Muhammadu Buhari and the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud have agreed to establish a Nigeria-Saudi Council.
Buharia, currently in Riyadh, Saudi-Arabia has accepted an invitation by Mohammed bin Salman for the establishment of Nigeria- Saudi Council as effort to enhancing investments and fostering relations between both countries
According to a press statement released on the Presidency official Twitter handle, the decision was the high-point of the bilateral meeting between Buhari and Mohammad bin Salman on margins of the Future Investment Initiative (FII) conference.
Initially, the meeting was scheduled to hold in the crown prince’s office but he insisted that he would meet with Buhari at his hotel room in The Ritz Carlton, Riyadh Saudi Arabia.
The council is set to be established in two months and will be made up of government officials and business leaders from the two countries with focus on mutual economic growth and development, investment in oil and non-oil sectors and security cooperation.
Buhari and the Crown Prince decided that the first step for the Council is to establish a legal and operational framework that will facilitate investments beneficial to both countries.
Muhammad bin Salman agreed with Buhari that the Council after establishment will hold meeting twice in every year while the Leadership of both countries will meet at least once every year to review progress of the council and foster the established relations.
Appreciating the Crown Prince, Buhari said “Nigeria has a large population mainly made up of dynamic, young people and partnerships of this type will help them to be productive & prosperous.”
He said his government will continue to provide the enabling environment for businesses to thrive in the country.
Mohammad bin Salman noted that the security challenges in the Sahel should be seen as 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 bilateral issues, the Crown Prince reiterated the preparedness of the Kingdom to support Nigeria’s development agenda, noting that the country had the potential to be among the top 20 economies in the world.
“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,” he said.
Mohammad bin Salman said Saudi Arabia has invested 40 billion U.S. dollars in India, 10 billion dollars in Pakistan and 20 billion dollars in Indonesia and are willing to do the same in Nigeria given the favourable business environment.
Speaking on regional and international issues, Buhari agreed with the Crown Prince that with the collapse of ISIS in Iraq and Syria, the next frontier for terrorism is the Sahel region of Sub-Saharan Africa.