By Levinus Nwabughiogu
ABUJA — President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, in Doha, Qatar, told member states of Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, and non-OPEC members that the continued crashing of oil prices was no longer acceptable.
He, as a matter of of urgency, called on all other stakeholders in the sector, especially the oil producing nations to articulate ways of rising up to the challenges as the development had seriously affected the economy of many nations.
Nigeria is a member of OPEC and currently running a mono-economy based on oil exports. But its economy is at its ebb due to the oil price.
President Buhari’s charge was made during a bilateral meeting with the Sheikh Tamim Bin Hammad Al-Thani, the Emir of the State of Qatar.
He said: “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 stabilize the market, which will be beneficial to our nations.”
The President, who extolled the existing cordial bilateral relations between both countries, also extended an invitation to prospective Qatari investors, urging them to take advantage of the abundant opportunities in Nigeria and invest in the key areas of energy, agriculture, real estate development, banking and finance.
He assured prospective investors of government protection of their persons and investments.
This was as he noted that both countries hoped to formalize at least two bilateral agreements to boost economic cooperation between them.
Also speaking on the crisis in the Middle East, the President commended Qatar for her role in resolving the present Syrian crisis, the Palestinian cause and efforts in reconstructing Gaza.
He said: “The conflicts in Yemen and Syria with their attendant humanitarian crisis need genuine international effort to solve. Nigeria, as a peace-loving country, identifies with the State of Qatar in all her peace efforts in the world to end terrorist activities.
“Nigeria is a victim of terrorism. It is with heavy heart that I stand before you and say that the activities of Boko Haram have led to loss of many lives and displacement of innocent people in our dear nation.
“We, however, take pride to inform you that since our coming to power, Boko Haram has been systematically decimated and are in no position to cause serious threat to our development programmes.
“I wish to reiterate that Nigeria rejects violence and extremism in all ramifications, and assure your Highness that we are with the State of Qatar in your efforts to fight terrorism and injustice in your region and in the world at large.”