Prime Minister, Moses Nagamootoo explained to his Nigerian guest, that Guyana is open for business and it especially welcomes investments from the African Continent.
“We are looking for the support from Africa and of course we are the gateway to South America where you have large populations of Africans. In Brazil, with a population of over 300 million people, that’s a large market as well. So, we are looking for all types of investments not only in the airline sector, but to take the opportunity of our vast territory. We have virgin forestry land, fresh air and clean water.”
Minister Sirika noted that “Nigeria is more than willing to do business in Guyana. Among areas for possible investments are oil and gas, agriculture and the air transportation sectors.” He also emphasised, “We do note the diverse opportunities that are here, in this region.
"Having found oil recently, Guyana is now placed on the world map. There is also the mining of gold and other solid minerals and agriculture… This is the focus of the Government of His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, on whose behalf that I’m attending this conference.”
The Nigerian Aviation Minister was in Guyana for the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) conference which ran from November 21-23. One of the key areas discussed is the linking of the African coast to the Caribbean Region.
Minister Sirika noted that the first step to future collaboration between the two countries is through air connectivity.
“… It took me four days travelling to get here from Nigeria… This shouldn’t be the case. When we cross the Atlantic it is not more than an eight-hour flight. The strength of air connectivity/transportation is that bring together cultures, businesses and resources.”
To this end, Minister Sirika explained that he is currently in talks with Minister within the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Annette Ferguson on how the two countries can commit to a bilateral agreement that will pave the way for future collaborations that will result in direct air connectivity between the two countries.
To the naysayers, who speculate that “the Africans are coming to Guyana to take over,” the Prime Minister made it clear that:
“This is no takeover, this is a motherland reaching out to descendants of its own people. You will find strong support for African Investments in Guyana… We need job opportunities, training and other opportunities for our people.”
Given that Nigeria is well experienced in the oil and gas sector, the Prime Minister is optimistic that Guyana can learn from its experience and expertise.
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