Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
The Republic of Indonesia has concluded plans to invest $200 million in the the Nigerian economy.
Indonesian Minister of State-Owned Enterprises Mrs Rini Soemarno disclosed the Indonesian business community’s plans during a working visit to Abuja.
Soemarno’s visit was centred on the continuity of concrete economic cooperation between Indonesia and Nigeria following the Indonesia-Africa Infrastructure Dialogue (IAID) in Bali in August.
Soemarno was accompanied by officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia and Chief Executive Officers of Indonesia State-Owned Enterprises and, alongside Nigeria’s Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Topwide Ventures Limited, Nigeria, and PT Timah Tbk and PT Timah Investasi Mineral, Indonesia.
Explaining the rationale behind the visit, Soemarno said the state-owned enterprises were involved in over 25 sectors, including mining, oil and gas and are interested in making input into the nation’s economy.
Soemarno appreciated the Nigerian government for the opportunity given to the Indonesian delegation working together with the local partner to be able to work on a tin mine project, which will eventually lead to the construction of a smelter and power plant.
She added that it was the hope of the Indonesian government to share its experience in the development and processing of mines to the benefit of Nigerians.
“For the first stage, it is about $20 million for a start. But the total process, probably with the smelter, will cost about 200 million US dollars,” Soemarno said.
Soemarno added that the Government of Indonesia was also exploring the possibility of building a refinery in the country as part of its investment plans.
She further said Indonesia planned to replicate its model of leading its people out of poverty in rural areas in the country by establishing vocational schools so rural Nigerians could also work and earn a living.
On his part, Adegbite acknowledged Indonesia as a willing investor interested in a range of sectors in the Nigerian economy.
Adegbite added that Nigeria welcomes genuine delegation to the country who would add value to the economy.
“So, we are willing to work with them. It is a first step in the right direction,” Adegbite said.
Earlier, the Minister urged the delegation to, within their short stay in the country, avail themselves of its opportunities, promoting Nigerians as a hardworking, entrepreneurial people who are willing to work if given the right opportunity.
“I think this is a microcosm of business and government people and I am sure there will be fruitful deliberation from both sides,” Adegbite said.