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Despite denial of bussines parley, Tinubu vows to embark on Qatar Visit

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Nigeria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued a statement confirming President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s scheduled visit to the State of Qatar on March 2-3 despite a Note Verbale from Qatari authorities expressing reluctance to host the Nigerian leader on the proposed dates, refusing to comment on what it terms as “leaks.”

Francisca Omayuli, spokesperson for the ministry, emphasized on Tinubu’s visit, stating, “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirms the forthcoming visit by His Excellency President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to the State of Qatar on 2-3 March, as scheduled.”

Foreign Affairs Minister Yusuf Tuggar echoed this sentiment, highlighting the strong ties between Qatar and Nigeria. “Qatar and Nigeria are strong allies with a long history of friendship and close bilateral relations,” Tuggar affirmed.

“Mr. Tinubu’s upcoming visit to Doha will help build on this important relationship.”

Also, the Nigerian State House has issued a press statement to address the issues.

Claiming contrary to speculation suggesting a diplomatic snub, the statement tried to clarify that the Note Verbale concerns a private sector-led Business and Investment Forum organized by the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) and Qatar’s Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

This forum, the statement noted, aims to foster dialogue between Nigerian and Qatari business communities to explore commercial and investment opportunities in both countries.

Emphasizing the strong bilateral relationship between Nigeria and Qatar, the statement reaffirms that President Tinubu’s visit is at the invitation of the Emir of Qatar, His Highness, Sheik Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani.

The visit is specifically intended to bolster economic cooperation between the two nations.

President Tinubu’s itinerary includes engagements with Qatari leaders to discuss a wide range of diplomatic and economic matters, covering sectors such as oil & gas, manufacturing, agro-business, construction, real estate, ICT, Renewable Energy, Solid Minerals, and the service sector, the statement noted

Bayo Onanuga, Special Adviser to the President on Information & Strategy, dismissed insinuations of a snub by Qatari authorities, asserting the commitment of both President Tinubu and His Highness Al-Thani to nurturing and enhancing the longstanding relationship between Nigeria and Qatar.

Recall it was earlier reported that the Qatari government’s Note Verbale cited logistical issues and the absence of their commerce minister during the proposed visit as reasons for declining the invitation.

Furthermore, it indicated the absence of a signed agreement between Qatar and Nigeria on investment promotion and protection.

“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 the Nigerian side,” the Note Verbale sent by Qatari authorities to the Nigerian government stated.

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