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Presidency Dismisses Snub Claims

The Presidency has refuted claims suggesting that the Qatari government snubbed President Bola Tinubu. According to a statement by Tinubu's Special Adviser on Information and Strategy, Mr. Bayo Onanuga, the cancellation of the investment forum was just one of several events planned for Tinubu's State Visit to Qatar on March 2-3, 2023.

Onanuga clarified that the decision by Qatar not to hold the investment forum was due to the absence of a legally binding agreement with Nigeria to promote investment, as well as the unavailability of the Qatari Minister of Commerce and Industry during Tinubu's visit.

The Presidency emphasized that Tinubu's State Visit to Qatar remains scheduled as planned, during which he will engage in high-level bilateral discussions covering diplomatic and economic issues with Qatari leaders. The leaked diplomatic correspondence between Qatar and Nigeria regarding the investment forum was described as not indicative of a snub against Tinubu.

The note verbale referenced in the leaked correspondence was stated to be about a private sector-led Business and Investment Forum to be held on the sidelines of Tinubu's visit, organized by the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture and Qatar’s Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

The Presidency underscored the aim of Tinubu's visit to strengthen bilateral economic cooperation between Nigeria and Qatar, with a focus on sectors such as oil & gas, manufacturing, agro-business, construction, real estate, ICT, Renewable Energy, Solid Minerals, and the service sector.

It was highlighted that both leaders are committed to enhancing the existing cordial relationship between Nigeria and Qatar.

The article also mentioned a similar instance in 2022 when a leaked correspondence between Nigeria and Qatar suggested a postponed visit by former President Muhammadu Buhari, which was eventually rescheduled due to concerns regarding the proximity of the proposed dates to the 2022 FIFA World Cup hosted by Qatar.

Buhari eventually visited Qatar in March 2023, coinciding with Tinubu's upcoming trip, which is set within a similar timeframe.

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