Wednesday, 6th December 2023

Natural resource crucial to fourth industrial revolution, says South Korea

By Collins Olayinka, Abuja
28 June 2023   |   3:11 am
The huge deposit of natural and human resources places Nigeria at a vantage position in the unfolding fourth industrial revolution, the Special Envoy of the Republic of Korea to Nigeria, Jang Sung Min has said.

Shettima and South Korea-envoy to Nigeria, Jang Sung Min.

•Charges Tinubu to embrace PPP model

The huge deposit of natural and human resources places Nigeria at a vantage position in the unfolding fourth industrial revolution, the Special Envoy of the Republic of Korea to Nigeria, Jang Sung Min has said.

Sung Min, who was sent to Nigeria as a special envoy by the President of Korea, Yoon Suk Yeol, said in Abuja yesterday that Nigeria is considered the leader of Africa with the largest market, largest population, most enormous natural resources in Africa and the most significant arable land which are the basic foundation the fourth industrial revolution requires.

He argued that Nigeria has everything needed to be an economic giant while stressing the readiness of Korea to collaborate with Nigeria for mutual benefit.

His words: “Everything needed to be an economic powerhouse is here in Nigeria. Korea is a country that has the technological know-how and economic prosperity to lead the fourth industrial revolution. Korea is already leading that revolution. The President of Korea, Yoon Suk Yeol, believes that Nigeria and Korea’s cooperation will lead to prosperity for Nigeria and Africa as a whole.”

Sung Min, who is also a Senior Secretary to the President for Future Strategy, lauded the steps taken by President Bola Tinubu since he took over the mantle of leadership, saying, “The new Nigerian President, Bola Tinubu is opening up the country for business and we can use that to expand our cooperation for the benefit of the two countries. Although cooperation already exists between the two countries, we want to make it much more organised in terms of youth empowerment and training.”

He stated that Korea has the technology and is very interested in engendering technology transfer between the two countries especially in agriculture, cyberspace, security, biotechnology, oil and gas, principally oil refining capacity.

While congratulating President Tinubu for emerging victorious in the February 25, 2023 elections, Jang Sung Min expressed optimism that when fully formed, the government of Korea will be more than ready to work with members of the new team with full diplomatic compliments.

He hinted that the Korean President has introduced a new Public Private Partnership (PPP) policy that will further the development stride of his country while urging President Tinubu to work with the private sector to build infrastructure and design public policies.

The Special envoy declared that both the public and the private sector must cooperate to reduce waste and increase the efficiency of public utilities, saying, “There are challenges in the world that cannot be confronted by the public sector or the private sector individually.”

Sung Min reiterated the eagerness of his country to work with countries with high esteem for peace, liberty and transparency which are the core values of Korea.

“Our new diplomatic policy is aimed at enhancing cooperation, especially with countries that share our common values which are liberty, peace and transparency. These are the values that underlie our foreign policy. We would like to extend our cooperation with those countries with such values. We believe that Nigeria, especially the new government of President Tinubu is the government we can share these common values with. Korea used to be a country that received donors from foreign countries but today, we are in a unique position to give back to the global community part of what was given to us. So, we look forward to cooperation with Nigeria in this regard.”

He pledged that Korea will continue to have more delegations come to Nigeria to explore more areas of mutual cooperation, stressing that not just from the government-to-government level, but between the business in order to explore more areas where we can cooperate for more investment.

Also speaking, the Vice President of SK Korea, Guillaume Barthe-Dejean, stressed the need for PPP collaboration to build a strong economy.

He added that SK is willing to partner with Nigeria to build a stable global; supply chain.

“We are excited to be in Nigeria which is the most important country on the continent. Bonny light crude, which Nigeria produces irrigates the world economy. Nigeria has resources that can pull and power the fourth industrial revolution. The world over the last 45 years has changed drastically. What we have seen is a vast disruption of the supply chain globally. I think that for this reason Korean companies will be interested in partnering with countries in Africa to stabilise the supply chain to make sure that there is no resilience and that will take the form of offtake agreements, investment agreements or greater collaboration and partnership with countries in Africa. I hope this will be the case for Nigeria.”