German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz has called for a more comprehensive approach to investments in Nigeria’s solid minerals sector, emphasizing the need to move beyond mere extraction and focusing on value addition within the country of origin.
Chancellor Scholz is on a two-day visit to Nigeria with his delegation comprising CEOs from Germany’s premier corporations and a cultural entourage.
Speaking after extensive discussions with Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu, Chancellor Scholz calls for a broader investment in the country.
“It is also important that we use the way of developing your economy in the fields of the minerals you have. I think that the investments into this structure must be easy, but also beneficial for your country,” Scholz stated, emphasizing the need for economic development that benefits the nation directly.
Scholz further voiced his concerns about past practices that involved extraction, which he deemed insufficient. He stressed the necessity of ensuring that economic development contributes to the country’s progress and benefits its citizens.
Nigeria has been making efforts to increase the contribution of its mining industry to the GDP, which currently lags at around 1%. The country’s Minister of Solid Minerals has also indicated plans to establish a solid mineral corporation and make it mandatory for foreign investors to prove their commitment to processing solid minerals when applying for licenses.
In a bid to address migration challenges, Germany proposed a collaborative management approach that aims for a win-win situation for both Germany and Nigeria. Chancellor Scholz acknowledged the need for individuals with talent to come and work in Germany through regular migration pathways.
“The first is yes, there is a need in Germany for people that have talent and that want to work in our country in a way which is a regular path for migrants,” he stated. “We are working intensely in this field and we want to make more progress and get things agreed upon in detail.”
He also highlighted the importance of agreements that allow those without the right to stay in Germany to return to their home countries. This, he emphasized, would be a mutually beneficial arrangement for both countries.
In terms of infrastructure investment, Scholz expressed German companies’ willingness to invest in Nigerian projects, particularly in the railway sector. While not going into specifics, he assured the audience that there is a strong desire to increase partnerships globally.
Addressing the Government-to-Business Roundtable, President Bola Tinubu emphasized his administration’s commitment to creating an ideal business environment through ongoing reforms and policy adjustments.
This, he said, reflects Nigeria’s understanding of the attributes necessary for fostering business growth and economic development.