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Sorry, We Will Not Have Your Time Sir — Qatari Govt Turns Down Tinubu’s Request to Hold Economic Roundtable with Them



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By Izunna Okafor, Awka

The request of Nigerian President, Ahmed Bola Tinubu, to hold a joint business and economic roundtable during with the Government of the State of Qatar has been turned down by the Qatari Government.

Recall that President Tinubu, who planned to visit the Middle East country, Qatar, in early March this year, had also requested to hold a Business and Investment Forum with the country’s Ministry of Commerce during the period of his visit there.

However, the request was turned down by the Government of Qatar, who said the requested joint economic and business roundtable would not hold due to certain reasons.

According to a letter from the Embassy of Qatar in Abuja, dated February 22, 2024 and addressed to the Protocol Department of the Nigeria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, there was no any previous agreement between both countries on investment promotion and protection.

The letter also said the Qatari Minister of Commerce and Industry would be busy with official assignment and would not be chanced to attend to Tinubu’s request.

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Titled “Note Verbale”, the letter reads: “The Embassy of the State of Qatar in Abuja presents its compliments to the Protocol Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“Regarding the upcoming State visit of H.E. Bola Ahmed Tinubu, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to Qatar from 2nd-3rd March 2024 and with reference to your Note: Ref: ME.631 2024 dated 12/02/2024, which proposed holding of a Business and Investment Forum (BIF) on the margins of Mr. President’s visit to Qatar on 2nd March 2024.

“The Embassy has the honour to inform that the Ministry of Commerce and Industry in Qatar apologizes that it will not be able to hold a Business and Investment Forum as proposed by Nigerian side due to the following reasons:

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

“His Excellency the Minister of Commerce and Industry will be carrying out official missions outside the country during the upcoming visit period.

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“The State of Qatar will be hosting a Web Summit during the suggested period and the State’s authorities will be preoccupied with this event.

“The Embassy of the State of Qatar avails itself of this opportunity to renew to the Protocol Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Nigeria the assurances of its highest consideration.”

The Qatar Government’s blunt refusal to President Tinubu’s request serves as a resounding denigration, casting a dark shadow on his administration’s credibility.

This snub, painted in the hues of global disgrace, underscores the profound deterioration of Nigeria’s international stature under Tinubu’s governance. The rejection also hints at a global reluctance to associate with a leadership widely perceived as having mismanaged the country’s economy.

Speculations abound that this rejection may have been the Qatar Government’s smart move to shield itself and its citizens from potential contamination by Nigeria’s messed economy. The rejection also mirrors a stark reality of Tinubu’s government being shunned at the global stage, while also amplifying concerns about the nation’s current economic turmoil.

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