The Federal Government has said that the oil-rich state of Qatar plans to invest $5 billion in the Nigerian economy.
According to a statement by the Deputy Director of Information, State House, Mr Abiodun Oladunjoye, this disclosure was made by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyema, while speaking at a farewell dinner in honour of Nigeria’s Ambassador-designate to the state of Qatar, Ambassador Yakubu Ahmed, who is also the outgoing Director of Protocol at State House.
Onyeama said that there had been discussions with Qatar on partnership with Nigeria’s Sovereign Wealth Fund, for significant investments in the region of $5 billion in the Nigerian economy.
He said, “Qatar is a weighty and strategic country and very strategic in that part of the world and we are putting our best feet forward to advance the interest of our country economically and in other areas.”
The Foreign Affairs Minister had recalled that President Buhari visited the State of Qatar in 2016 and the Emir of Qatar, His Highness Tamim Bin Hammad Al-Thani reciprocated with a State visit in 2019.
Onyeama said that only trusted hands with a track record of diligence, experience and professionalism in the Foreign Service will be appointed into positions of career ambassadors.
The Minister said that the appointment of Ahmed and other career ambassadors were based on posting dedicated and keen Foreign Service practitioners to serve as image-makers of the country.
He said, ‘‘Amb. Yakubu Ahmed is a dedicated professional with a penchant for rigour and detail. He is very capable and one of the best in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He is personable, affable, extremely friendly, dispassionate and objective.
He is going to head a very important mission, a very important country, reckoned to be one of the richest countries in the world, per capita, and there’s a lot we will be doing with the State of Qatar.’’
In his response, Ahmed expressed gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari for the great honour and privilege of appointing him as the country’s main representative in Doha, Qatar.
He pledged to deplore his energy and skill to the promotion of the existing cordial relationship between Nigeria and Qatar, particularly in the areas of economic, political, cultural and consular affairs as well as other key areas.
What this means
- This is going to be a huge boost to Nigeria’s drive for foreign investment and help significantly in the country’s push for economic development.
- Qatar which has a very high Human Development Index (HDI) is regarded as the world’s third-largest natural gas and oil reserves with a population of about 2.8 million people as of 2019.
- The investment by the wealthy Middle East country will add to the country’s diversification efforts as such investments are expected in the area of oil and gas, manufacturing, power/utilities and so on.