Nigeria is Africa’s largest economy and top oil exporter.
The Qatar-Nigeria Economic Forum launched on Saturday in Lagos, in a bid to strengthen the two countries’ trade ties.
The forum was attended by Governor of Lagos State Babajide Sanwo-Olu, and Qatar’s Ambassador to Nigeria Ali bin Ghanim Al Hajri. Other Qatari and Nigerian senior officials, heads of chambers and representatives of private sectors were also in attendance.
Nigeria is Africa’s largest economy and top oil exporter, with crude oil sales accounting for 90% of its foreign exchange earnings.
The event was organised by the Qatar Development Bank. During the forum, business officials review mutual investment opportunities in both countries, building an economic bridge between Qatar and Nigeria.
In his opening address, Sanwo-Olu highlighted the importance of the event, given that Qatar is amongst the richest countries in the world and Nigeria is an emerging economy.
Officials attending the event discussed cooperation in various fields, including agriculture, manufacturing, oil and gas, mining and infrastructure development..
Last year, Nigeria had requested to enhance its economic cooperation with Qatar in gas development to develop its investment in the industry. Nigerian media had reported that Qatar planned to invest $5 billion into the African country’s economy.
The two countries were also in talks over partnering in Nigeria’s Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF).
Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari agreed to develop bilateral ties during a visit by the Qatari leader in 2019. More than 7000 Nigerians are working in the Gulf state as of 2021.
In February, Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum Resources Timipre Sylva was in Qatar for the Gas Exporting Countries Forum’s (GECF) sixth Summit. Nigeria, along with the ten other members of the Forum, discussed the importance of liquified natural gas (LNG) as a transitional fuel.
Sylva also expressed his hope in witnessing more production of gas if the 2015 nuclear accord with Iran is restored.
“We are expecting more production if a nuclear deal with Iran works out [since] there will be production from them,” he said.