ABUJA – The Namibian government has issued a mining license and allocated a piece of land that will enable Nigerian investors to establish a salt refinery in that country.
Its High Commissioner to Nigeria, Dr Peingeondjabi Shipoh, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Monday that the Namibian government allocated the piece of land to the Nigerian investors in August.
The high commissioner, who said the land was located in the country’s Erongo region, near the Henties Bay, added that the Namibian government’s approval was a testimony to its readiness to address all challenges before the investors.
“The government of Namibia has granted license because it is mining and it is manufacturing.
“The land has to be in the proximity of the ocean and it looks like that land that has been offered, you have to cross someone else’s land before you get to it.
“And therefore there should be some negotiations in order to lay pipes to take water into the plant.
“The people involved would like to visit Namibia to go iron out these things.
“I was informed about the problem before I came here (to Nigeria) and I tried my best to resolve it and we are about to resolve that problem of land access so that the plant can go up.
“Investment resource is not an issue; that has been secured; license from the government has been issued.
“So, it’s to find a date to start but the mission has got no control over those issues, it’s to only facilitate if we are told where the issues are.“
The envoy also said that plans for the setting up of a Nigeria-Namibia oil refinery in that country were on.
Shipoh, who said that the project would be private-sector driven, called on investors in the country to take advantage of the opportunities made available by the governments of both countries.
The high commissioner said that “friendly investment opportunities“ existed in the mining, agriculture, energy, fishery, and tourism sectors.
He said that the signing of 11 agreements by presidents of both countries in March had created opportunities for investors in both countries to take advantage of.
He, however, said that the interest shown by investors since the signing of the agreements had been low pointing out that the value of trade between the two countries was not up to one million dollars.
The envoy said, “these agreements are there and we need to make sure that the players are correctly advised so that all stumbling blocks on both sides, if any, are removed.
“Certain factors could constitute problems which we would like to know.
“If maybe the problem is not in Nigeria but in Namibia or maybe the import barrier is on the Nigerian side, which we need to be informed about, we can talk to our counterparts here to resolve such problems.
“If maybe there are export barriers in Namibia, which we need to look at and advise our people at home, we have a Nigeria-Namibia Chamber of Commerce, which has got an office in the Sheraton Hotel.
“It’s another avenue for business people, who might be subscribing to that chamber of commerce to visit that office and get the information they would need.
“We have made a lot of information available to that office, but we have got people coming to Nigeria and when that happens, we will inform businesspeople, who are interested.
“We would like to see more; we have made inroads, but we would like to see the trade volumes increase.“
Speaking on the outbreak of the Ebola Virus, the envoy urged African countries to work more closely in the area of research.
“Let’s now work together and research so we can develop our own cure. If you look at ZMapp, it is from tobacco; let’s see what we can do to support countries that have tobacco.
“If there are researches that are being started, other African countries should contribute to such so we can finalise the work that has been started by others and expand the virology laboratories where they exist.“
On his country’s forthcoming elections on Nov. 28, the envoy said efforts had been made to ensure that Namibians living in or passing through Nigeria voted.