President Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja on Friday called for an expansion of bilateral relations between Nigeria and United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The president made the call during an audience with the UAE Minister of Energy, Mr. Suhail bin Mohammed Al- Mazrouei.
Al-Mazrouei was at the Presidential Villa as a Special Envoy of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al- Maktoum, the Ruler of Dubai and Vice-President of UAE.
Jonathan said that Nigeria would welcome greater direct investment from UAE for the development of its power, agricultural, oil and gas, communications and solid minerals sectors.
He said that he looked forward to the early conclusion of agreements for the protection of investments and avoidance of double taxation between UAE and Nigeria.
The president said both policies were expected to boost the inflow of investments from the emirate to Nigeria.
“The United Arab Emirates and Dubai are becoming increasingly important to us because a large number of Nigerians now visit Dubai on a daily basis.
“I assure your leadership that we are keen on developing and expanding areas of cooperation between us,” he said.
Jonathan also seized the opportunity of the visit to restate his call for greater international cooperation against the scourge of terrorism.
“We must all cooperate to fight terrorism because no part of the world can be truly safe as long as terrorists remain amongst us.
“In parts of our country, terrorism is obstructing socio-economic development and increasing poverty.
“We need cooperation and collaboration from our friends globally to successfully overcome it,” he said.
The president assured the emissary of Nigeria’s support for Dubai’s bid to host the 2020 World Expo.
He said that he believed the emirate had developed the capacity to successfully host the event.
Al-Mazrouei had conveyed greetings from the leadership of UAE to Jonathan and congratulated him on its behalf, on Nigeria’s 53rd independence anniversary.
The UAE Energy Minister assured Jonathan that the emirates would like to boost their relationship with Nigeria through major investments in the country.
“The conclusion of the treaties we are working on will encourage our private sector to engage more in Nigeria,” Al-Mazrouei said.
He also briefed Jonathan on Dubai’s bid to host the 2020 World Expo under the theme: “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”. (NAN)