Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Nigeria and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, have agreed to establish an Investment Promotion Council aimed at enhancing economic relations between both countries.
The Council is expected to come on stream in the next two months while meetings will be held twice every year.
This was as President Muhammadu Buhari Thursday in Riyadh accepted an invitation from the Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, for the establishment of the council.
According to a statement by Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the decision was reached at the bilateral meeting between Buhari and the Crown Prince on the sidelines of the Future Investment Initiative (FII) conference.
The council will be made up of government officials and business leaders from both countries and its areas of focus would include economic growth and development, investments in oil and non-oil sectors, and security cooperation.
President Buhari and the Crown Prince agreed that the first assignment for the council would be to establish a legal and operational framework that will facilitate investments beneficial to both countries.
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.
President Buhari thanked the Crown Prince for the Kingdom’s interest in investing in Nigeria and the initiative to establish the council which would form the foundation for a stronger Nigeria-Saudi relationship.
‘‘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,’’ the President said, assuring that his government will continue to provide the enabling environment for businesses to thrive in the country.
Speaking on regional and international issues, President Buhari shared the view of the Crown Prince that with the collapse of ISIS in Iraq and Syria, the next frontier for terrorism is the Sahel region.