German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, who is on a working visit to Nigeria, on Sunday, expressed displeasure over mineral extraction from the country but end up abroad without the proceeds trickling down to benefit the citizens.
Scholz, while having a roundtable business meeting with President Bola Tinubu at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, also underscored the importance of democracy and the rule of law, insisting that such should be a lifestyle in a sane society.
He said Germany remains committed to democracy and the rule of law stressing that security and economic development of Nigeria was also paramount to his country.
Scholz said, “We are all committed to democracy and the rule of law. And it is important for us to make this a lifestyle for countries. It is good for a better future for our people. And so I’m very happy that we can work on this discussion.
“Even on the question on how we can continue to support you in doing the best and having this insecurity questions in your country as well. And we will go into the details later, but I can assure you that we will continue our support and our cooperation also in this field.
“One of the main aspects for cooperation will be developing the economy and using the economic opportunities of your country. As you already said, there are a lot of chances not just from gas and oil, which is traditionally linked to your country, but there’s a lot of room for improvement and for better using the capacities of your country.
“But also for going into investments for the future, which is about hydrogen and all the things that are important for an economy that is able to produce all the necessary goods for the people without harming the environment.
“But this is something where cooperation is also important and we will do so and it will be an important aspect of our work together.”
“It is regrettable that minerals are just about extraction as they end up in other countries rather than for Nigeria’s development.
“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 benefitting for your country.
“It is something that bothered me a lot in the past that sometimes it was just about extraction, which is not enough. There should be one bit more for making it feasible that some parts of the economic development can be used in the countries of origin.
“This is not the case today in our world, but if we change this a little bit, it will change a lot and working on this field is also important for us. We see that a lot of investments have to be taken looking at infrastructure and it’s not just about roads and railways.
“It is also about electricity, the infrastructure using the grid making feasible that all the produced energy or the power that is already there could go to the people because they are making it and finding a way how we can develop economy in this field will be also important.”