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Saturday, February 24, 2024

Qatar Rejects Tinubu’s Proposed Business Meeting

The government of Qatar has rejected President, Bola Tinubu’s request to visit the country for a business and investment meeting over legal disagreement.

The Qatari authorities in a letter sent to Nigeria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday, said that the Middle East country would not be able to welcome Tinubu and hold the proposed forum intended to hold on March 2 and 3.

Qatar said that the rejection of Tinubu’s request for visitation for the business and investment forum was due to the lack of a legally binding agreement between the country and Nigeria for the promotion of investment.

Qatari authorities in the letter further noted that its ministry of commerce had other commitments on the days Tinubu desired to visit.

Qatar was quoted as saying in the letter sent to Nigeria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday that “The Embassy has the honour to inform that the Ministry of Commerce and Industry in Qatar apologises that it will not be able to hold a Business and Investment Forum as proposed by Nigerian side.

“There is no any agreement signed between the State of Qatar and the Federal Republic of Nigeria on Investment Promotion and Protection.”

The country further stressed that its 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 to meet with the Nigerian leader.

Qatar added that its officials would be too busy because Qatar was hosting its own “web summit” the same time Mr Tinubu planned to visit.

The letter added that “The State of Qatar will be hosting a web summit during the suggested period and the state’s authorities will be preoccupied with this event.”

The Qatari government’s failure to reschedule the business and investment forum with President Tinubu to a more convenient period, perhaps, suggested its unwillingness to enter into any economic alliance with Nigeria.

Recall that in 2023, the government of United Arab Emirates (UAE) debunked an announcement by the Special Adviser to Tinubu on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, that a visa ban on Nigerians had been lifted after President Tinubu visited the country’s leader, Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

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