JUST IN:Buhari set to depart for Saudi Arabia

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President Muhammadu Buhari will depart Abuja on Monday for Riyadh, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, to attend the third edition of the Future Investment Initiative (FII) organised by Saudi’s Public Investment Fund (PIF).

According to a statement by the presidency, the event with the theme ‘What’s Next for Global Business?’ holds from October 29 to 31. It will focus on three key pillars: Sustainable Future, Technology for Good and Advanced Society.
The three-day event will be held under the patronage of King Salman bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia and chaired by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz.

Mr Buhari will use the occasion to talk about the economic opportunities that abound in Nigeria and the effectiveness of his administration’s policies to improve the business environment & invite investors to the country.

The total value of capital inflow into Nigeria increased from $12 billion in the first half-year of 2018 to $14 billion for the same period in 2019, the presidency said.
The Nigerian delegation will leverage on the resources in Saudi’s PIF, which aims at becoming one of the largest and most impactful sovereign wealth funds in the world, to seek foreign investments in critical projects in the country’s oil and gas sector; particularly the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) gas pipeline – the 614 km-long natural gas pipeline currently being developed by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.

Nigerian officials will see also take advantage of the summit to accelerate discussions on the planned interest of the Saudi oil company, Aramco, to revamp Nigeria’s refineries and new investments in the oil and gas sector.

According to the organisers, the high-profile conference has proven to be a substantial international platform for expert-led debate among investors, innovators & govts as well as economic leaders, with the power to shape the future of global investment, since it was launched 2017.

The conference is focused on utilizing investments to drive growth opportunities, enable innovation and disruptive technologies, and address global challenges.
More than 4,000 delegates from over 90 countries are expected to participate in the FII 2019, which will also host 12 workshops on different topics including cities, energy, climate, health, data, mobility, food, travel, sports, shopping and youth.

The president will be accompanied by Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State, Governor Abubakar Bagudu of Kebbi State and Governor Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina State.

Also on the entourage are the Minister of State, Foreign Affairs, Zubairu Dada; Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo; Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva; Minister of Communications, Ibrahim Pantami; the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno; Director-General, National Intelligence Agency, Ahmed Abubakar; and the Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari.

After the investors’ conference in Riyadh, Mr Buhari will proceed to Makkah, accompanied by close personal aides, to perform the Umrah (lesser pilgrimage) before returning to Abuja.

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