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In Doha, Nigeria’s Tinubu, Qatar Emir Al-Thani Sign Agreements Across Education, Mining, Tourism, Sports 

Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu on Sunday held a closed-door meeting with Emir of the State of Qatar, His Highness, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, as part of his two-day state visit to Qatar.

The executive session was preceded by bilateral deliberations between the two leaders which culminated in the signing of historic agreements between both nations, opening a gateway for leveraging the potential of mutual cooperation in pivotal sectors of education, enterprise development, investment promotion, youth empowerment, mining, tourism, and sports.

Before the signing ceremony at the Qatar Presidential Palace, President Tinubu assured his host of Nigeria’s preparedness to welcome investors into the country, noting the ongoing reforms that favour innovation, return on investments, and multiculturalism.

He said: “Our greatest strength is our people. Our strength lies in the capacity of Nigerian youths. They have energy, talent, and self-belief. They are quality partners for Qatari industry. They are educated and reliable, and they are proactively seeking to add value wherever they are. A few cannot give a bad name to the many. Nigerian youths are ready to be unleashed for the mutual benefit of both nations.

“We have seen clearly the rapid pace and thorough quality of Qatar’s development process. It is impossible not to be moved by what you have accomplished. The leadership in the country has proven its mettle, and we are here to gain deeper insight. 

“There is nowhere in the world where you will find return on investment at the level of what you will see in Nigeria. A massive market of over 200 million skilled Nigerians, always industrious and ready to work.

“We face some short-term turbulence at the moment, but we have a government today that reflects the dynamism and talent of the Nigerian people. We are implementing the right solutions. This team works collaboratively with each other and our partners. Nigeria is ready for serious business,” the President stated.

Also speaking, the Emir of the State of Qatar, His Highness, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, emphasized that Qatar is open to President Tinubu’s investment push, recalling that he traveled to Nigeria in 2019 owing to his belief that Nigeria is an important and strategic ally on its own and within the context of its role in regional affairs.

According to him: I have no doubt about the great capacity of the Nigerian people. Everywhere in the world, they are known for their brilliance and hard work. We only need to ensure that this is happening inside of Nigeria rather than outside. The investments we have made around the world have been very fruitful. This is because we take our time and study opportunities before we invest the common wealth of our people. It is not my money. The money we invest belongs to the future generations of Qatar.

“Mr. President, I am very encouraged by your actions and your passion to create new opportunities. We are very open to this, and follow-up is everything at this point. The will is there for both of us, but we must follow up. I will send a team of officials to Nigeria after Ramadan, and we will advance discussions on what some of the actionable investment opportunities are.”

President Tinubu immediately named the Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, Mr. Wale Edun as the team leader of the government team that will interface with Qatari authorities in investment identification and implementation moving forward.

Furthermore, during the bilateral deliberations, President Tinubu enabled a brief presentation to the Emir by the Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Dele Alake, who spoke in detail about the high-grade of several minerals, including lithium, immediately derivable across the country with an emphasis on imminent opportunities for local mineral processing and value-additive industry in the sector.

The seven bilateral agreements across multiple sectors signed are: cooperation agreement in the field of education; regulation of employment of workers with the Government of Qatar; establishment of a joint business council (JBC) between the Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines, and Agriculture (NACCIMA); in addition to a cooperation agreement in the field of youths and sports.

The other agreements are: cooperation in the field of tourism and business events, and a memorandum of understanding combating illicit trade in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.

The documents were signed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Yusuf Tuggar, and relevant officials in the Government of the State of Qatar, Buthaina bint Ali Al Jabr Al Nuaimi, Minister of Education and Higher Education; Dr. Ahmad Hassen Al-Hammadi, Secretary General at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Sheikh Khalifa Bin Jassim Al Thani, Chairman of Qatar Chamber of Commerce & Industry (QCCI), and Abdullah bin Khalaf bin Hattab Al Kaabi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Interior (MOI).

Deji Elumoye in Abuja 

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