The Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Public Matters, Mr Ajuri Ngelale said in an interview while speaking on the impact of the President’s foreign trips, that Nigerians are benefitting from the goodwill of the President.
Ngelale said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja while speaking on the impact of the President’s foreign trips.
He described the President as a leader known by other nations as an incorruptible and credible leader and attested to the trips being extremely productive.
“We are now benefiting from the goodwill of the president largely because of the fact that the world knows that this is an incorruptible leader – a leader with credibility and integrity.”
Ngelale expressed optimism that President Buhari’s foreign trips would yield positive results in the form of a stronger national economy by virtue of the bilateral agreements he signed Nigeria into.
“President Muhammadu Buhari’s excursions to the Russian Federation and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have been very much in the interest of the country.
“I say that because when you look at the derivables from those trips, you will realise the extent to which those trips have now added value to our nation’s economy.’’
“Specifically, we are really excited about the Russian trip because we had a lot of series of negotiations that culminated in agreements that we have now signed bilaterally which are all government-to-government transactions,” he said.
The presidential aide said that some of the sectors that would directly benefit from the bilateral agreements are solid minerals development, transport, iron ore mining, and defence.
In the solid minerals sector, the Ajaokuta Steel Company will be resuscitated via a one-billion-dollar facility that would be shared by the Russian Federation, the Nigerian government, and the Afrexim Bank.
According to him, in doing so, Nigeria will be able to revitalise the steel complex and stop the importation of steel.
“We seek to industrialise our country and employ our people and lift our people out of poverty.’’
Ngelale added that the Buhari administration had prioritised the revival of the Nigerian Iron Ore Mining Company (NIOMCO) in Itapke, Kogi state.
“So there’s a 400-million-dollar facility separate for NIOMCO for the revival of NIOMCO so that we have that iron ore supply to Ajaokuta for steel development,” he said.
According to Ngelale, an agreement struck with the Russian government will see that the country supplies Nigeria with 12 M1-35 attack helicopters as well as other infrastructure which will be used in tackling security challenges confronting the country.
“These are heavily weaponised, very stealthy, very fast attack-helicopters which will make a difference in terms of anti-piracy.
The presidential aide said that Nigeria and Saudi Arabia had agreed to bring together top government officials that would look at viable areas of collaboration particularly in the oil and gas sector of the Nigerian economy.
He said that a Nigeria-Saudi Council would be established toward that end.
Saudi Arabia’s Aramco (the world’s topmost oil and gas company) is willing to help with refinery rehabilitation, pipeline construction, the building of world-class hospitals, for the benefit of Nigerians.