Nigeria and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to promote collaboration in the oil and gas sector, Nigeria’s Ministry of Petroleum Resources announced on Thursday.
The announcement of the deal comes a few hours after President Bola Tinubu arrived in Riyadh, the Saudi Arabian capital city, to attend the Saudi-Africa summit.
Ajuri Ngelale, Nigeria’s Presidential Spokesperson, said Tinubu travelled to the Kingdom to attract foreign direct investment and mobilise capital to build needed infrastructure in Nigeria.
Heineken Lokpobiri, the Minister of Petroleum Resources, signed the MoU on behalf of the Nigerian government, while the Energy Minister of Saudi Arabia, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, signed for the Kingdom.
A statement by the media aide to the minister, Nneamaka Okafor, partly read “The key purpose of the MoU is to promote collaboration, information exchange and technology transfer, thereby creating a conducive environment for a mutually beneficial partnership.
“One of the primary benefits anticipated from this landmark agreement is the facilitation of technological exchange. With Saudi Arabia boasting advanced technologies in oil and gas exploration and production, Nigeria stands to gain significantly from this knowledge transfer.
The statement added that the exchange of technical expertise is poised to elevate the efficiency and effectiveness of Nigeria’s energy operations, ultimately contributing to increased production levels and global competitiveness.
The Minister said the MoU would attract substantial Foreign Direct Investment into Nigeria’s oil and gas sector. “Saudi Arabia, being a key player in the global energy market, holds the potential to channel significant investments into Nigeria, thereby stimulating economic growth, job creation and infrastructural development.
“This influx of capital will not only bolster the petroleum industry but also have a cascading effect on various sectors of the economy, contributing to Nigeria’s overall economic prosperity,”
He said the cooperative framework outlined in the MoU extended beyond technological collaboration and financial investments. “It encompasses joint research and development initiatives, knowledge-sharing platforms and capacity-building programs.
“This holistic approach aims to empower local talents within Nigeria’s energy sector, fostering a self-sustaining environment where indigenous expertise plays a pivotal role in shaping the nation’s energy future,” the ministry stated.
“Both nations have agreed to work together on adopting and implementing best practices in environmental conservation, ensuring that oil and gas activities are conducted in an eco-friendly manner.
In his remark, Khalid Al-Falih Saudi investment minister, said the country’s over $700bn wealth fund would make a positive impact in investments in Africa.