Worried by his country’s
dwindling fortunes amidst the low
price of crude, Nigeria’s
Muhammadu Buhari is set to meet
his Saudi and Qatari counterparts.
President Buhari will begin a
week-long official visit to Saudi
Arabia and Qatar on February 22,
his spokesperson, Femi Adesina,
said on Sunday in Abuja.
Mr. Adesina said the President
would first fly to Riyadh for talks
on Tuesday with King Salman Bin
Abdulaziz Al Saud and senior
officials of the Kingdom of Saudi
Mr. Buhari will be accompanied on
his visit by his petroleum minister,
Ibe kachikwu, a former top
executive of Exxon Mobil and
current Group Managing Director
of the Nigerian National
Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.
Achieving a greater stable price of
crude oil will top the agenda of
discussions, Mr. Adesina said, as
OPEC and non-OPEC oil producing
countries seek ways to get more
money for exported crude.
Last week, officials of Saudi
Arabia, OPEC’s largest oil
producer, met with their
counterparts from Russia, Qatar,
and Venezuela where they agreed
to freeze production at January’s
level if other oil producers agree.
Analysts have mentioned
oversupply of crude as one of the
reasons for the huge drop in crude
oil prices to about $30 per barrel
from over $100 last year.
“Crude oil prices and market stability will also
be on the front burner when President Buhari
goes on to Doha on Saturday for talks on
Sunday with the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim
bin Hamad Al Thani,” Mr. Adesina said.
“The President is also scheduled to meet with
leading Saudi and Qatari businessmen in Riyadh
and Doha, and invite them to support his
administration’s efforts to revamp the Nigerian
economy by taking advantage of the great
investment opportunities currently available in
Nigeria’s mining, agriculture, power supply,
infrastructure, transportation, communications
and other sectors.’’
The statement said Mr. Buhari’s other
engagements in Saudi Arabia included meetings
with heads of international financial
organisations and multilateral associations.
It stated that before going on to Doha, the
President would visit Medina and Makkah to
pray for greater peace, prosperity and progress
in the country.