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Seven fruits of President Tinubu’s Qatar trip, by Dada Olusegun

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu (l) and His Highness, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of the State of Qatar

*A journey to remold Nigeria’s image and further attract investments has begun, as President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s seven agreements recently reached in Qatar are another solid testament to his mission

Dada Olusegun

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, once again, continued his aggressive marketing of Nigeria as the investment destination of the next decade as he displayed his charming charisma on his last trip to the State of Qatar.

Like Tinubu did in India and Germany, the President is back in Nigeria with a bag of goodies; this time with seven major agreements in important sectors of the economy.

During a meeting Sunday, March 3, 2024, in Doha, President Bola Tinubu and His Highness, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of the State of Qatar, supervised the signing of the historic agreements between both countries.

These agreements created a gateway for both countries to open a vista of mutual cooperation in the 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 wearing his usual Nigeria’s Marketer-in-chief garment, assured the Qatar leader of Nigeria’s preparedness to welcome investors into the country and revealed the ongoing reforms in Nigeria that favour innovation and returns on investments – two favourite languages of investors.

Very passionate President Tinubu also talked up the huge potential returns on investment Nigeria offers to the business leaders at the meeting, emphasising that no other country in the world offers such returns at the level that can be gotten from Nigeria.

This is a vintage marketer highlighting the strengths of his product. President Tinubu always hawks the Nigerian product at any given opportunity.

Qatar, for all intents and purposes, is a good arena to market the Nigerian product.

The country boasts of a GDP of around $250 billion for a tiny population of just under 3 million people.

When one brings Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund of $500 billion, it becomes obvious why Tinubu had his gaze set upon the kingdom of Qatar. Investments!

The Nigerian President, while talking to his host in Qatar, also had his eyes beyond attracting Qatari investments into Nigeria.

In finding a useful purpose for Nigeria’s huge talent base and human capacity within and outside Nigeria, the President did not fail to mention the potentials of Nigeria’s young population.

Tinubu stated: “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.”

The Nigerian leader also said: “A few cannot give a bad name to the many. Nigerian youths are ready to be unleashed for the mutual benefit of both nations.”

The Emir of the State of Qatar, His Highness, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, emphasised that Qatar is open to President Tinubu’s investment push

He recalled 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.

President Tinubu in his usual pragmatic manner 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.

His passion to diversify Nigeria’s economy away from reliance on oil revenues was there for all to see when he enabled a presentation to the Emir of Qatar and his team by the Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Oladele Alake, who made a detailed pitch about the potential opportunities offered by several high-grade solid minerals, including lithium, immediately derivable across the country.

The emphasis was on local mineral processing and value-additive industry in the sector rather than mere exploitation of the raw materials for direct export.

After bilateral engagements between the two countries and a closed door session between President Bola Tinubu and the Emir of Qatar, seven bilateral agreements across multiple sectors were signed.

These agreements include:

  1. Cooperation agreement in the field of education;
  2. Regulation of employment of workers with the Government of Qatar;
  3. 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);
  4. A cooperation agreement in the field of youths
  5. A cooperation agreement in the field of sports.
  6. Cooperation in the field of tourism and business events.
  7. Memorandum of understanding combating illicit trade in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.

By embarking on this trip to Qatar, President Tinubu has kick-started the process of potentially unlocking billions of Dollars in Qatari investments in some of these sectors of interest. This means more jobs for Nigerians, and more revenues for the government to make our investment environment even more conducive to attract additional investments.

A step at a time truly, but a journey to remold Nigeria’s image and further attract investments has begun. President Tinubu is on a mission, and the seven agreements reached in Qatar are another solid testament to this.

*Dada is Special Assistant to the President on Digital Media.

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