HomeBreaking News#Tinubu insists on visiting Qatar despite snub claims

#Tinubu insists on visiting Qatar despite snub claims

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has insisted on visiting Qatar despite the claim that his request for an investment forum meeting in the country won’t be granted.

A leaked memo emerged on Saturday in which the Embassy of Qatar in Abuja conveyed its apologies for the inability of the country to hold the meeting as requested on the sidelines of President Tinubu’s visit to the country next week.

A statement issued on Saturday by Bayo Onanuga, Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, however, said the event was being put together by the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines, and Agriculture (NACCIMA) and Qatar’s Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

Onanuga was responding to a leaked note verbale between the foreign ministries of both countries, which showed the Arab nation would be unable to hold a proposed forum intended to be held during Tinubu’s visit.

Qatar said its decision to decline the business and investment forum was due to the lack of a legally binding agreement with Nigeria to promote investment.

More so, the letter explained that the Minister of Commerce and Industry, Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Qassim al-Thani, “will be carrying out official missions outside the country during the upcoming visit period,” which makes him unavailable for the forum.

But in a statement titled ‘President Bola Tinubu’s state visit to Qatar,’ the Presidency explained, “President Tinubu is expected to proceed to Qatar on the State Visit as scheduled and during the visit, the Nigerian leader will engage in high-level bilateral discussions with Qatari leader on many important matters, covering the full range of diplomatic and economic issues.”

The Presidency said, “We are aware of a leaked diplomatic correspondence between the Embassy of the State of Qatar in Abuja and our Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s state visit to Qatar between March 2 – 3, 2024.

“The leaked diplomatic paper by mischief makers about an investment forum is not in any way a snub on President Tinubu by the Qatari government.”

It said the note verbale is about a private sector-led Business and Investment Forum to be held on the margins of President Tinubu’s State Visit. The event is being put together by the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture and Qatar’s Chambers of Commerce and Industry, where business people from Nigeria will engage their counterparts from Qatar on commercial and investment opportunities available in both countries.

“We note the strong bilateral relationship between our two countries and affirm that the State Visit by President Bola Tinubu to Qatar is at the invitation of the Emir of Qatar, Sheik Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani.

“The State Visit is particularly aimed at strengthening the bilateral economic cooperation between Nigeria and Qatar,” the Presidency insisted.

NACCIMA and Qatar Chambers of Commerce and Industry, it said, were collaborating to take advantage of President Tinubu’s visit to Doha to mobilise the business community from our two countries to explore opportunities in key economic sectors such as oil & gas, manufacturing, agro-business, construction, real estate, ICT, Renewable Energy, Solid Minerals and service sector, among others.

It said the two leaders are committed to maintaining and building on the existing cordial and special relationship between Nigeria and the State of Qatar.

This is not the first time a leaked correspondence between Nigeria and Qatar would suggest a rejected visit of a Nigerian leader.



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