The Qatar-Nigeria Economic Forum kicked off on Saturday in Lagos, with the goal of strengthening trade connections between the two countries.
The Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, and Qatar’s Ambassador to Nigeria, Ali bin Ghanim Al Hajri, both spoke at the forum. Other prominent Qatari and Nigerian officials, chamber heads, and business sector members were also present.
Nigeria is Africa’s largest economy and is the continent’s top oil exporter, with crude oil sales accounting for 90% of the country’s foreign exchange revenues.
The Qatar Development Bank organized the event. During the meeting, business leaders will discuss reciprocal investment potential in both countries, laying the groundwork for a future economic relationship between Qatar and Nigeria.
Sanwo-Olu stressed the importance of the event in his opening remarks, noting that Qatar is one of the world’s wealthiest countries, while Nigeria has a developing country.
Agriculture, industry, oil and gas, mining, and infrastructure development were among the topics highlighted by officials during the event.
Last year, Nigeria urged that Qatar expand its economic cooperation in gas development in order to expand its investment in the sector. Qatar was said to be planning a $5 billion investment in Nigeria’s economy, according to Nigerian media.
The two countries were also in talks over partnering in Nigeria’s Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF).
Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari agreed to develop bilateral ties during a visit by the Qatari leader in 2019. More than 7000 Nigerians are working in the Gulf state as of 2021.
In February, Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum Resources Timipre Sylva was in Qatar for the Gas Exporting Countries Forum’s (GECF) sixth Summit. Nigeria, along with the ten other members of the Forum, discussed the importance of liquified natural gas (LNG) as a transitional fuel.
Sylva also expressed his hope in witnessing more production of gas if the 2015 nuclear accord with Iran is restored.
“We are expecting more production if a nuclear deal with Iran works out [since] there will be production from them,” he said.