- President seeks OPEC’s cooperation on oil price stability • Says, pipeline vandals, kidnappers scaring investors away
NIGERIA and the State of Qatar have signed Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) to pave way for direct flights between major cities of both countries.
Both countries also signed an agreement to avoid double taxation and tax evasion. The agreements were sign in Doha during President Muhammadu Buhari’s state visit to Qatar.
Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, who represented Buhari, signed the air services agreement on behalf of the country while Qatar’s Minister of Transportation and Communications, Jassim Bin Saif Alsulaiti, signed on behalf the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hammad Al- Thani.
The agreement, which was signed in the presence of both leaders, is expected to operate on the principle of reciprocity by designated airlines on be- half of the countries.
Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, also signed the agreement for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes income with her Qatari counter- part, Ali Shareef Al Emadi. It is also expected that the agreement on bilateral air service will pro- mote trade, commerce and tourism between the two countries just as Nigeria has also commenced discussions on partnerships towards establishing a national airline for Nigeria.
Buhari’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina said in a statement. Meanwhile, Buhari has stressed the need for member states of Organisation of Petroleum Ex- porting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC members to cooperate and find a common ground to stabilise crude oil prices.
This was even as he assured prospective investors in Nigeria’s economy of government’s protection of their investments, conducive environment and security of their persons. The president said this in Doha when he spoke at a bilateral meeting with the Sheikh Tamim Bin Hammad Al- Thani, Emir of the State of Qatar. President Buhari described the current market situation in the industry, which has seen oil prices plummet by 70 percent since mid-2014, as ‘totally unacceptable’.
“As members of OPEC and Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF), our relations in the areas of oil and gas, which our two nations heavily rely on, need to be enhanced and coordinated for the benefit of our people.
“The current market situation in the oil industry is unsustainable and totally unacceptable.
“We must cooperate both within and outside our respective organisations to find a common ground to stabilise the market, which will be beneficial to our nations,” he said.
The president also de- cried activities of pipeline vandals, as well as kidnappers in the country, whom he said scare away potential investors from the country.
Speaking at a town hall meeting with members of the Nigerian community in Doha, the president said: “When people are being abducted and some are being murdered, when installations are being blown up now and then, the incentives for people to invest in our infrastructure is quite slim.”
He urged Nigerians to be more patriotic and stop sabotaging the installations.