Monday, February 22

Buhari to embark on Saudi, Quatar trips today

President Muhammadu Buhari will today embark on another round of foreign trips to Saudi Arabia and Qatar to discuss oil price and he will be away for about one week. According to his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, Buhari will first fly to Riyadyh for talks with King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and senior officials of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The talks will hold on Tuesday.

Adesina disclosed further that ongoing efforts by Nigeria and other members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries to achieve greater stability in the price of crude oil exports are expected to be on the agenda of discussions between Buhari and the Saudi monarch.

The President will be accompanied by a high-powered Federal Government delegation, including the Minister of State (Petroleum) and Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu.

Adesina said that crude oil prices and market stability would also be on the front-burner when Buhari holds talks on Sunday with the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

“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.
“President Buhari’s other engagements in Saudi Arabia include meetings with heads of international financial organisations and multilateral associations.
“Before going on to Doha, the President will also visit Medina and Mecca to pray for greater peace, prosperity and progress in Nigeria.”
Buhari who has widely criticised for embarking on foreign trips too often, said there were always political and economic justifications for any trip he made.

“Every of my trip can be politically or economically assessed. I recall that the first trip I had was to go to Chad and Niger. The trip was mainly because of Nigeria’s security.
“We campaigned based on three issues – security, economy (employment) and corruption. The G-7 invited me to Germany. After that, I went to Cameroon. I then went to the United Nations General Assembly.
“I have not made any frivolous journey. I understand that the Governor of Ekiti State (Fayose) said that every trip I make costs Nigeria at least $1m. I do not know how he worked that out but every trip that I have made, there must be economic and political reasons that justified them.
“Those who do not see it the way the government sees it have the right not to agree and say whatever they like. But we will try and give them the appropriate reply.” 

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