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Presidency reacts to leaked memo about Tinubu’s planned visit to Qatar



The Presidency on Saturday dismissed insinuations that Qatari authorities had stopped the scheduled state visit by President Bola Tinubu to the Gulf State.

The presidency was reacting to a leaked memo that shows that the Qatari authorities have rejected the president’s visit to the country.

The Special Adviser on Information and Strategy to the President, Bayo Onanuga, made the clarification in a statement in Abuja.

He said the president would visit the country between March 2 and March 4.

Onanuga explained that a leaked memo focused on a private sector-led Business and Investment Forum to be held on the margins of the president’s state visit.

He said: “We are aware of a leaked diplomatic correspondence between the Embassy of the State of Qatar in Abuja and Nigeria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding President Tinubu’s visit between March 2 and March 3, 2024.

“The leaked diplomatic paper by mischief makers about an investment forum is not in any way a snub on Tinubu by the Qatari government.

“The business meeting is being put together by the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) and Qatar’s Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

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“Business people from Nigeria planned to engage their counterparts from Qatar on commercial and investment opportunities available in both countries.”

He added that the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines, and Agriculture (NACCIMA) and Qatari Chambers of Commerce and Industry were collaborating to take advantage of the president’s visit to Doha.

The collaboration, according to him, was to mobilise the business communities from the two countries to explore opportunities in the oil and gas sector.

They also planned to explore opportunities in manufacturing, agro-business, construction, real estate, ICT, renewable energy, solid minerals, and service sector, among others.

Onanuga said: “The letter sent to the foreign affairs ministry on Feb. 22 reads: ‘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.

“This is because there is no agreement signed between the State of Qatar and the Federal Republic of Nigeria on Investment Promotion and Protection.

“It is incorrect to insinuate that the Qatari authorities have snubbed the Nigerian leader over a business and investment forum which is tangential to the state visit.

“President Tinubu and His Highness Al-Thani are both committed to maintaining and building on the existing cordial and special relationship between Nigeria and the State of Qatar.”

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