Nigeria and Saudi Arabia have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to promote collaboration, information exchange and technology transfer in the oil sector, the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources announced on Thursday.
It stated that the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, signed on behalf of the Federal Government, while the Energy Minister of Saudi Arabia, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, signed for his country.
“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 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 statement, issued by the media aide to the minister, Nneamaka Okafor, stated.
It further stated that 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,” the petroleum ministry stated.
It 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.
It further stated that the the MoU outlined a commitment to environmental sustainability and responsible resource management.
“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.
“This reflects a shared vision for a greener and more sustainable energy industry, aligning with global efforts to address climate change and promote cleaner energy alternatives,” the FMPR stated.
On his part, Saudi investment minister, Khalid Al-Falih said the kingdom’s over $700bn wealth fund — the public investment fund— would make some “game-changing” investments in Africa.
The announcement of the deal comes hours after President Bola Tinubu arrived in Riyadh, the Saudi Arabian capital city, to attend the Saudi-Africa summit.
President Tinubu arrived the Middle Eastern country on Thursday as part of efforts to attract foreign direct investment and mobilise capital to build needed infrastructure, Ajuri Ngelale, presidential spokesperson, said.