BUSI­NESS Nigeria econ­omy‘ll ben­e­fits from Pak­istan in­vestors – Ab­basi

Daily Trust - - BUSINESS - By Romoke W. Ah­mad

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Pak­istani Min­is­ter of Oil and Nat­u­ral Re­sources, Mr. Shahid Ab­basi, was in Nigeria re­cently for the sec­ond joint min­is­te­rial com­mis­sion’s meet­ing of the two coun­tries af­ter 30 years. In this in­ter­view, Ab­basi spoke on the po­ten­tials of both coun­tries and added that the new eco­nomic sta­tus of Nigeria will at­tract its coun­try to in­vest in West Africa. Ex­cerpt:

ben­e­fi­cial to both coun­tries. For ex­am­ple, we are im­porter of en­ergy now and Nigeria can help us with that. We also im­port about $12 bil­lion of petroleum prod­ucts ev­ery year and im­por­ta­tion of petroleum prod­uct from Nigeria is al­most zero, we are think­ing of Nigeria on that. Also, we have four types of fluid we use which noth­ing is com­ing from Nigeria. We have cer­tain ex­pe­ri­ence in gas dis­tri­bu­tion which Nigeria lacks; we can help them in that area. Also, on the use of nat­u­ral gas, 60 per­cent of neu­tron is con­verted into nat­u­ral gas and I think we have a big op­por­tu­nity from Nigeria. There are a whole lot op­por­tu­ni­ties to ben­e­fit from

each other.

Nigeria now rated as the best econ­omy in Africa, how would this af­fect the trade and bi­lat­eral re­la­tion be­tween the two coun­tries?

There are tremen­dous op­por­tu­ni­ties we can gain from that. Ba­si­cally, we are not look­ing at the West African econ­omy be­fore. But this will now al­low Pak­istan to look at the re­gion be­cause Pak­istan is also a ma­jor econ­omy in Asia, we are av­er­agely great people, the GDP is ris­ing and we can look at other op­por­tu­ni­ties be­sides oil and gas here in Nigeria and the en­tire Africa.

You are in Nigeria for the sec­ond Nigeria-Pak­istan min­is­te­rial com­mis­sion meet­ing, what has your con­sul­ta­tion yielded?

As you know, the meet­ing is for joint min­is­te­rial com­mis­sion, it cov­ers ev­ery min­istry. We dis­cussed the op­por­tu­ni­ties and the agree­ments to be sign­ing with those min­istries. I met with the min­istries of for­eign af­fairs, agri­cul­ture, ed­u­ca­tion, petroleum, trade and in­vest­ment, health, tourism, avi­a­tion and spoke on a lot of op­por­tu­ni­ties. This is just the be­gin­ning, to make people aware that these op­por­tu­ni­ties ex­ist and a lot of knowl­edge and ex­pe­ri­ences our coun­tries can share that is ba­si­cally the pur­pose of the meet­ing.

Is there any plan to in­vest in the Nigeria oil and gas sec­tor aside im­port­ing the prod­uct to your coun­try?

Yes, it is pos­si­ble be­cause we have two state owned com­pa­nies and one of them is here in Nigeria. The com­pany will look at the op­por­tu­nity and then hear from Pak­istani com­pa­nies and also in Pak­istan there are sev­eral op­por­tu­ni­ties for Nige­rian com­pa­nies in dif­fer­ent sec­tors even in the oil and gas.

How many ar­eas were you able to agree on?

The Pak­istani pres­i­dent who will be vis­it­ing Nigeria by the end of this month will sign the MoUs into agree­ment but we hope to sign three of the MoUs on the es­tab­lish­ment of joint cham­bers of com­merce, co­op­er­a­tion in the ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor, and in in­vest­ment sec­tor.

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