Buhari woos UAE investors

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari on Monday met with groups of investors on the sidelines of the Annual Investment Meeting in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, where he called on them to invest in Nigeria.

Mr Femi Adesina, the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, revealed this in a statement in Abuja on Monday.

Adesina quoted the president as telling the investors: “Come to Nigeria and prosper. Come and have handsome returns on your investments, within the shortest possible time.’’

The presidential aide said Sheikh Ahmed Al Maktoum, who is a member of the Dubai ruling family, a private investor and member of several boards of companies, both state-owned and private, had told President Buhari that he was interested in establishing a power plant in Lagos, and studies had already been completed.

Adesina revealed that the chairman of Lulu Group, which operates a chain of supermarkets in the Middle East and Asia, Mr Yusuff Alli, had told President Buhari that the outfit, with headquarters in Abu Dhabi, has over 164 supermarkets and shopping malls.

According to Alli, the Group employs over 50,000 people, saying the company’s interest is to work with Nigerian farmers, using local produce to ensure food security.

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“Quality, affordability and hygiene are the watchwords of the company,’’ Alli further told President Buhari.

Adesina also said that President Buhari held a bilateral meeting with Sheikh Hussain Al Nowais, Chairman of Amea Power.

According to him, the company develops, owns, and operates thermal and renewable energy projects in Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

“Its wide range of power solutions include conventional – gas, coal, oil, and renewable – solar, wind and hydro.

“Apart from power, the company, which owns Rotana Hotel chain, is also interested in the hospitality sector in Nigeria,’’ he added.

Adesina revealed that the president also met with Sheikh Ali Rashid Lootah, Chairman, Nakheel Properties and Limitless Group.

“One of the world’s leading developers and a major contributor to Dubai’s real estate transformation, the company’s current and future retail project portfolio covers nearly 17 million square feet of leasable space.

“They are keen to expand their investments in Nigeria,’’ he said.

According to Adesina, President Buhari also met with Sheikh Khalid Bin Kalban, the CEO of Dubai Investments.

He said the meeting between the Nigerian president and Kalban centred around real estate, processing industries, mergers and acquisitions, health care, education, and financial investments.

“Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) has supported over 66 projects in 29 African countries.

“They include rural solar power and water projects, and that was the focus of the discussion, as Sheikh Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, the CEO, met with President Buhari,’’ he said.

The presidential aide said the bilateral sessions were not concluded, till the Nigerian president had met with Mr Jitender Sachdeva, the Chief Executive Officer of Skipperseil Group.

He said the president’s discussion with the CEO of the Group, an integrated energy company with operations in the manufacturing of substation equipment, centred on engineering processing, construction of transmission lines and substations for utilities, institutions and industries.

Adesina quoted the company’s CEO as expressing delight at the meeting with President Buhari and looked forward to doing good business in Nigeria.

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