In December last year, Qatar opened its mission’s headquarters in Abuja.
Qatar attended the inauguration ceremony of Nigeria’s new President Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu in the capital Abuja on Monday, state news agency (QNA) reported.
Qatar’s Minister of State Sheikh Fahad bin Faisal Al-Thani attended the ceremony to witness Nigeria’s 17th leader being sworn into office at Eagle Square.
According to QNA, Sheikh Fahad conveyed the greetings of Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, “wishing him the best of health and happiness and for the government and people of Nigeria continued progress and development”.
Tinubu, a former Lagos governor, took over from former leader Muhammadu Buhari, who led the country for two four-year terms starting from 2015.
During his swearing-in cermony, President Tinubu vowed to increase Nigeria’s economic growth to 6% on an annual basis and create jobs for the public, Reuters reported.
“On the economy, we target a higher GDP growth and to significantly reduce unemployment,” he said, as quoted by the news agency.
The new president has economic challenges to face, including a weak currency, almost two decades of inflation, as well as high debt. Last year, Abuja’s total public debt hit $103.1 billion.
“I have a message for our investors, local and foreign: our government shall review all their complaints about multiple taxation and various anti-investment inhibitions,” Tinubu added.
Nigeria is Africa’s largest economy and top oil exporter, with crude oil sales accounting for 90% of its foreign exchange earnings.
In December last year, Qatar opened its mission’s headquarters in Abuja during an event attended by several Qatari and Nigerian officials, including Doha’s Ambassador to Nigeria Dr. Ali Al Hajri.
In 2021, Nigeria requested to enhance its economic cooperation with Qatar in gas development to develop its investment in the industry.
At the time, Nigerian media reported plans by Qatar to invest $5 billion into the African country’s economy. The two countries were also in talks for a potential partnership involving Nigeria’s Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF).
In 2019, Qatar’s amir and Nigeria’s former president agreed to develop bilateral ties during his visit to Abuja.
In February last year, Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum Resources Timipre Sylva was in Qatar for the Gas Exporting Countries Forum’s (GECF) sixth Summit.