By Eveline De Klerk
Swakopmund — Nigerian investors aim to set up a salt refinery close to Henties Bay in the Erongo Region.
This is according to the Governor of the Erongo Region, Cleophas Mutjavikua, who on Friday said the government has given approval to Nigerian investors to build the facility near Henties Bay following lengthy negotiations.
“In addition to the existing salt refineries, a new salt refining factory was approved by Cabinet. The bureaucratic process took longer than anticipated,” the governor said. He could however not say when exactly the refinery would take shape but indicated that a few logistics still need to be ironed out between the government and investors.
Mutjavikua said he was optimistic that the new salt refinery would not only create jobs but add value to the country’s natural resources.
“Nigerians have been eyeing Namibian salt for a while and are very keen on exporting our salt to Nigeria,” he said.
A delegationof high-ranking officials accompanied Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan during his state visit to Namibia in March this year to negotiate with the government for permission to set up the refinery.
The Nigerian government and Namibia have also agreed to jointly construct a new oil refinery at Walvis Bay and improve bilateral cooperation in the field of energy. During the visit, President Jonathan and Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba reached an agreement that the two countries would work together on the construction of the oil refinery at Walvis Bay. The planned oil refinery would be privately financed in its entirety.
The two leaders also agreed that the project should be realised as soon as possible and that the private sector in both countries be involved.