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‘Tinubu going to Qatar on state visit’ — FG reacts to leaked memo on rejection of investment forum

‘Tinubu going to Qatar on state visit’ — FG reacts to leaked memo on rejection of investment forum
February 24
20:07 2024

The federal government says President Bola Tinubu will travel to Qatar for a state visit on March 2.

The government announced the trip on Saturday following a leaked memo showing that the Arab nation declined a proposed investment forum on the sidelines of the president’s visit.

TheCable understands that the business and investment forum was proposed by the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA).

In the memo dated February 22 and addressed to the ministry of foreign affairs, the embassy of Qatar in Abuja had said there is no agreement between the Arabian country and Nigeria on investment promotion and protection.

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The embassy said Mohammed Bin Hamad Al-Thani, the country’s minister of commerce and industry, would be “carrying out official missions outside the country during the upcoming visit period”.

“The Embassy has the honour to inform that the Ministry of Commerce and Industry in Qatar apologizes that it will not be able to hold a Business and Investment Forum as proposed by the Nigerian side due to the following reasons: Unfortunately, there is no any agreement signed between the State of Qatar and the Federal Republic of Nigeria on Investment Promotion and Protection,” the letter reads.

“His Excellency the Minister of Commerce and Industry will be carrying out official missions outside the country during the upcoming visit period.

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“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.”

‘WE WON’T COMMENT ON LEAKS’ 

In a statement, Francisca Omayuli, spokesperson for the ministry of foreign affairs, confirmed Tinubu’s proposed visit to Qatar.

“The Federal Republic of Nigeria and the State of Qatar have a long history of friendship and close bilateral relations. The forthcoming visit to Doha by HE President Tinubu will help build on this important relationship,” the statement reads.

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Omayuli said the ministry is “aware of the circulation in the media of diplomatic correspondence and wishes to confirm that it will not comment on leaks”.

In September 2022, the Middle East country rejected the planned visit of former President Muhammadu Buhari over the country’s preparation for the 2022 World Cup.

The government of Qatar had asked the federal government to propose a new date for the visit, preferably “during the first quarter of the year 2023”.

 

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Editor’s note: This story has been adjusted for accuracy

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