The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has expressed its readiness to expand its bilateral relations with Nigeria to other areas of the economy.
Nigeria and Saudi Arabia had a long history of cordial relationship dating back centuries.
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Both countries are members of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Saudi Arabia also offers scholarships to Nigerian students to study in the kingdom.
Though the relations between both countries are hajj-driven, with thousands of Nigerian Muslims embarking on spiritual journeys annually to the kingdom for Hajj and Umrah, Saudi Arabia said it was ready to expand the ties to other critical areas, including agriculture, oil and gas.
Saudi Ambassador to Nigeria, Faisal Ebraheem Alghamdi, stated this at an interactive session with journalists in Abuja.
The envoy said despite the COVID-19 pandemic, he was “still keeping in touch with relevant government officials to fulfil the mandate that was handed to me.”
He said the plan was ongoing for a bilateral engagement between officials of both countries to further strengthen the excellent relations based on friendship and mutual trust.
Earlier, the Head of the Embassy’s Media section, Majed Alharbi, highlighted the kingdom’s green initiatives to address climate change challenges.
He said 10 billion trees would be planted in Saudi Arabia and another 50 billion in other Middle Eastern countries.
He said Saudi Arabia is collaborating with countries in the Middle East and all its allies amongst countries of the world and international organisations to achieve the project, which, he said, was part of the kingdom’s vision 2030.
“It is a regional blueprint launched by the Kingdom to contribute immensely to the realization of the global objectives of combating climate change, representing 5% of the global target of planting one trillion trees, which will reduce the global carbon rate by 2.5%.
“This joint effort will also contribute to reducing carbon emissions by more than 10% of the global contributions in that regard. It will enhance the region’s hydrocarbon technology efficiency,” he added.