The Federal Republic of Nigeria and the United Arab Emirate have agreed to deepen their cooperation and increase trade, especially as it concerns gold trade. The agreement was reached following the visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to Dubai, recently.
At a subsequent meeting between the Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Abubakar Bawa Bwari and the Undersecretary for Foreign Trade, UAE Ministry of Economy, Abdullah Al Saleh, on the sidelines of the Dubai Annual Investment Meeting, the ministers resolved to cooperate considering the quantum of gold traded between both countries.
The Undersecretary for foreign trade noted that Nigeria remains a major supplier of gold to the Dubai market, adding that there is room for expansion.
He commended the participation of Nigeria in the 9th Annual Investment Meeting on Digital Identity, Digital Trade and Digital Economy, and urged for a level playing field so that trade will be beneficial to all countries.
Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Abubakar Bawa Bwari who headlined the panel on Digital Trade at the conference, spoke on the extent to which the Nigeria mining sector is being digitally prepared to take advantage of the benefits and gains of the digital economy which was worth 11 trillion US dollars in 2016.
The minister explained that Nigeria wields amazing potentials in the solid minerals sector, but lamented that Nigeria’s quest for diversification is being hampered by poor technological growth. He however noted that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has made commendable progress in addressing the challenge of technological growth.
Bwari further explained that the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development has digitalized its agencies, especially the Mining Cadastre Office, adding that the development has made mining licenses easier to get. “Soon, investors or prospective investors would sit in the comfort of their homes and get a mining license,” he said.
The minister also discussed the National Integrated Mineral Exploration Project in progress. He said the project is a major achievement of the current administration, adding that large-scale exploration work is in progress in the country. “It will provide accurate and reliable data of minerals for investors,” he said, adding that now is the time to invest in Nigerian mining sector.
The panel agreed that while Africa stands to benefit massively from the Digital revolution, it was clear that there are challenges which range from poor infrastructure, limited capacity to exploit opportunities, ciber security and weak regulatory framework.