By Musa Adamu
About 1.5 million Nigerians resident in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are contributing to the economy of that Kingdom in the areas of oil, education and medicine.
This was disclosed by the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, His Excellency, Adnan Mahmud, at the first Hajj and Umrah Exhibitions organised by Al- Yaro international in Abuja.
The Envoy who said the hosting of the Forum shows that the visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to the Kingdom where he met with the Crown Prince was yielding fruits, added that Saudi and Nigeria had a historical ties.
Revealing that at some point of his educational pursuit he was taught by a Nigerian, added that in with the tie between his country and Nigeria, pilgrims from this country were always given special treatment to ensure their comfortability.
Commending the organisers of Forum, the Envoy promised that his government would provide whatever help needed to ensure they succeed in their endeavour.
The Chairman/ CEO, Nigeria in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri -Erewa, described the Forum as history in the making, saying it was the first of its kind.
She said she was particularly elated that the Forum had brought many Saudi Arabia born Nigerians home for the first time.
She said: “This is the result of the kind of leadership President Buhari is providing to the country. Our Ease of Doing Business is improving by the day. We are not there yet but if we continue this in a few years’ time Nigeria will be a country to beat.”
She said the next Forum would hold in Saudi Arabia where Nigeria’s products would be on display.
“We appeal to Nigerians to be of good behavior wherever they are. Nigerians in Saudi Arabia are example of how we want our brothers and sisters in Diaspora to represent Nigeria.”
Also speaking, a former member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Kabir Ajana, said hosting of the Forum represented the respect the two countries had for themselves.
He said: “ I want to also add that this Forum underscores the fact that the leadership of this country is doing something positive that is why investors are getting attracted to come and invest here.”
Speaking on behalf of the Emir of Zazzau, the Dan Ruwata Zazzau Babba, Alhaji Bello Idris, said the trade balance between Saudi and Nigeria was already in favour of the country.
He said: “ As a staff of Max Airline I know that recently we take more goods out to Saudi Arabia than we import from there. Wherever you find Ginger, Sesame seeds and Hibiscus in Saudi Arabia they are more likely to have come from Nigeria.”
The Expo, which was first, hosted about 10 companies providing ranging from hospitality, education, agriculture and health.