Easter: Tinubu Expresses Optimism That Nigeria’ll Overcome Its Challenges

Nigeria-Qatar Business Forum: It’s Time To Be Serious About Bilateral Engagements – Analyst 

1 month ago
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Nigeria-Qatar Business Forum:  Reactions have continued to trail President Bola Tinubu and his team’s plan to travel to Doha, the capital of Qatar for a presidential visit and a business forum.

Tinubu will visit Qatar on a state visit scheduled for March 2 and 3, 2024 but will be accompanied by 38 others.

According to the document containing list of delegation for the visit which was split into two batches, sighted by Prime Business Africa, President Tinubu’s sons were included.


Qatari government had earlier rejected a request to host a business meeting with Nigerian businesses on the sideline of President Tinubu’s visit next month. However, following criticisms from some Nigerians, the position was reversed a few days back as indicated in a “Note Verbale” dated 23 February sent to the protocol department of Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs ministry from Qatari embassy in Abuja.

Commenting on the state visit and the bilateral engagement, a public affairs analyst, Dr Ambrose Igboke, said it is a shameful thing that Nigeria is begging Qatar, a small country with about 2.7 million people, for a sideline business summit during the president’s visit.

Dr Igboke, who appeared on NewsCentral TV programme said Nigeria should have cancelled the trip given the perceived ignominy.

He asserted that if Nigerian leaders over the years had put the house in order, the country with her population size, human capital strength and ermomous natural resources would not need to beg for a business summit with the small Middle East country that has nothing to offer it.

“It is indeed shameful that our President is begging Qatar for a sideline business summit. The Government officials in Qatar initially rejected the move via a memo. Instead of cancelling the trip, the Nigerian President is going with glee. Qatar is just 1% of Nigeria’s population, there is insignificant trade relations between the two countries. Qatar has nothing to offer us yet our President begs to visit her,” Igboke stated.

Speaking further, he stressed that Nigeria should be serious about having fruitful bilateral engagements with other advanced countries like Russia, Germany, Brazil, and many more for serious economic visits aimed at attracting deals and investments to revive her moribund infrastructure in different sectors to spark industrial growth and in the long run, improve the economy.

He cautioned that the time for mere photo show in the name of bilateral engagements has passed.

“Nigeria should be having bilateral agreements with Russia to resuscitate Aladja and Ajaokuta Steel Plants, talking to France to bring back Peugeot, Germany to bring back Anamco, Brazil to set up Embraer Airplane assembly plant and many other serious economic visits.

“Qatar visit is merely for photo show and will go down as another unnecessary waste of public funds. It is time for Nigeria to respect Nigeria,” he added.

Also reacting to the proposed visit, a veteran diplomat, and former secretary to the Anambra State government, Mr Oseloka Obaze, condemned the large size and constitution of the delegation accompanying Tinubu on the visit.

According to Obaze the composition of the delegation is unconditional, and smacks of nepotism.

“A Federal Foreign Presidential Mission without Fedral Character. Utterly Unconsitutional, Unwieldy, Unacceptable & laden with Nepotism & Malgovernance!” Obaze wrote in his official X handle on Wednesday.

As specified in the list of delegation, the first batch would arrive Doha on Wednesday, 28 February while the second batch containing Tinubu’s sons, Seyi and Yinka, will arrive Doha on Thursday, 29 February 2024.

The first batch of 16 people to arrive on February 28, 2024, includes Borno State Governor, Prof. Babagana Zulum, Kaduna State Governor, Uba Sani, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Yusuf Maitama Tuggar, Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun, Minister of Solid Minerals, Dele Alake, National Security Adviser, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, Mele Kyari.

The second delegation made up of 22 people to arrive on February 29, 2024 includes Seyi Tinubu, Yinka Tinubu, PPS, Hakeem Muti-Okunola, SCOP, Ambassador Victor Adekunle Adeleke, PP, Dr. Ade Tinubu, and SSAP (Household), Subair Oluwatoyin.


Victor Ezeja is a passionate journalist with six years of experience writing on economy, politics and energy. He holds a Masters degree in Mass Communication.


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