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 Arabia.
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.