- NNPC, Saudi firm strike deal to revive refineries
Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari wednesday listed investments and reforms in agriculture as ways conceived by his government to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next 10 years.
The president also welcomed the commitment of Saudi energy company, Aramco, and Public Investment Fund (PIF) to collaborate with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to revive Nigeria’s refineries.
A statement by a presidential spokesman, Malam Garba Shehu, said the president, while speaking as a panelist at the ongoing Future Investment Initiative (FII) conference in Riyadh, expressed his government’s resolve to fulfill his promise to reduce poverty in Nigeria.
Shehu said Buhari and other panelists – President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger and President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya – at a plenary session during the summit, explored the topic: ‘‘What’s next for Africa? How will investment and trade transform the continent into the next great economic success story?’’
According to him, the president spoke on poverty reduction in Nigeria, outlining the vigorous implementation of key reforms of his administration in the farming and agricultural sector, including soft loans to farmers, availability and affordability of farming inputs and restrictions on food imports grown locally, as some of the measures that have encouraged agricultural revolution in Nigeria.
He also said Buhari responded to a question posed to the discussants on whether Russia is now Africa’s best friend, saying Russia is ‘‘visibly helping’’ Nigeria in all the priority areas of his government such as security, economy and the fight against corruption.
The presidential aide said the president added that Russia had remained a committed development partner to Nigeria, recalling its support to Nigeria during the country’s civil war.
Shehu said Buhari also spoke on anti-corruption drive in Nigeria, describing corruption as an ‘‘embarrassing topic’’ for developing countries and highlighted measures taken by the Nigerian government to eliminate graft through lawful enforcement and preventive measures.
The president also reached an agreement with King Salman of Saudi Arabia for a partnership between Nigeria and Saudi Arabia in the area of oil and gas.
The agreement was reached when both men held talks on the sidelines of the ongoing FII conference.
Shehu, in a separate statement, said both leaders made commitments to deepen partnership for the development of both countries.