Nigeria and Qatar announce agreements in education, solid minerals, and other areas

On Sunday in Doha, President Bola Tinubu said Nigerian youngsters are worth every investment because they are educated, dependable, and aggressive.

He claimed that a few bad apples cannot be used to assess the capacity of the majority, which he said is “ready to be unleashed for the mutual benefit of both nations.”

Tinubu spoke when he and Qatar’s Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, witnessed the signing of seven significant agreements between the two countries following closed-door meetings at Doha’s Presidential Palace.

The seven agreements signed include an education cooperation agreement, worker employment regulation with the Qatari government, the formation of a joint business council between the Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines, and Agriculture, and a youth and sports cooperation agreement.

Other agreements include collaboration in tourism and business events, as well as a memorandum of understanding to combat the illegal trafficking of narcotic drugs and psychotropic chemicals.

The documents were signed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yusuf Tuggar, and relevant officials in the Government of the State of Qatar: Buthaina bint Ali Al Jabr Al Nuaimi, Minister of Education and Higher Education; Dr. Ahmad Hassen Al-Hammadi, Secretary General at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Sheikh Khalifa Bin Jassim Al Thani, Chairman of the Qatar Chamber of Commerce & Industry; and Abdullah bin Khalaf bin Hattab Al Kaabi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Interior.

Ajuri Ngelale, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, stated this in a statement he signed on Sunday headed “President Tinubu welcomes multi-sectoral agreements with Qatar: Set to greet Qatar’s investment team in Abuja.”

Before the signing ceremony, President Tinubu told his host that Nigeria is ready to welcome investors, highlighting current reforms that promote innovation, return on investment, and multiculturalism.

Tinubu stated, “Our biggest power is our people.” Our strength is in the capacity of Nigerian youth. They are full of enthusiasm, talent, and confidence. They are valuable partners in the Qatari industry.

“They are educated and trustworthy, and they actively endeavor to add value wherever they go. The actions of a few cannot reflect poorly on the many. Nigerian youth are eager to be liberated for the mutual benefit of both countries.”

He praised the Qatari administration’s developmental achievements, adding, “We have seen the swift pace and thorough quality of Qatar’s development process.” What you’ve accomplished cannot fail to move you. The country’s leadership has demonstrated its abilities, and we are here to obtain a better understanding."

Nonetheless, he asserted that “there is nowhere in the world where you can get a return on investment at the level of what you would see in Nigeria” and that “a large market of over 200 million skilled Nigerians is always industrious and ready to work.”

The President stated that, while Nigeria is experiencing some short-term turmoil, its current government reflects the dynamism and talent of the Nigerian people.

"We’re applying the appropriate answers. This team collaborates with our partners. “Nigeria is ready for serious business,” the president stated.

The Emir of the State of Qatar stated that Qatar is receptive to President Tinubu’s investment push, recalling that he visited Nigeria in 2019 because he believes Nigeria is an important and strategic ally both on its own and in the context of its regional affairs.

"I do not doubt the Nigerian people’s immense potential. They are well-known around the world for their intellect and hard work. We merely need to make sure that this is happening inside Nigeria rather than outside.

"The investments we’ve made around the world have been extremely beneficial. This is because we take our time and carefully consider opportunities before investing in our people’s commonwealth. It’s not my money. “The money we invest belongs to Qatar’s future generations,” stated Al Thani.

The king said he is “extremely encouraged” by Tinubu’s “activities and passion to provide new prospects.”

However, he stated that for the cooperation to be successful, both countries must meet halfway in terms of follow-up measures.

As a result, he offered to send Qatari officials to Abuja after Ramadan for additional engagement.

"We are quite open to this; follow-up is critical at this stage. The will exists for both of us, but we must follow through.

“I will send a team of officials to Nigeria after Ramadan, and we will continue negotiations about some of the concrete investment prospects,” the Qatari leader stated.

President Tinubu, for his part, has designated Mr. Wale Edun, Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, as the leader of the government team that will work with Qatari authorities to identify and implement investment opportunities in the future.

Furthermore, during the bilateral discussions, the President permitted a brief presentation to the Emir by the Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Dele Alake, who spoke in detail about the high grade of several minerals, including lithium, that are immediately derivable across the country, with an emphasis on imminent opportunities for local mineral processing and value-additive industry development.

Nigerian ministers who attended the ceremony included the Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, Mr. Wale Edun; the Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Dele Alake; the Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Professor Muhammad Ali Pate; the Minister of Trade, Industry, and Investment, Dr. Doris Uzoka-Anite; and the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Gas), Mr. Ekperipe Ekpo.

The meeting also included Nuhu Ribadu, the National Security Adviser, and Mrs. Olu Verheijen, the Special Adviser on Energy.