By Victoria Ojeme

Qatar Airways will start flying to Enugu, Kano and Port Harcourt airports following bouts of bilateral trade agreements between Nigeria and the Qatari government.

The two governments are also considering a partnership that will lead to the development of gas in both countries.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Gabriel Aduda, said collaboration in the areas of air travel and gas development between Nigeria and Qatar would enhance economic growth and development.

A statement by the Embassy of Nigeria in Doha, Qatar, quoted Aduda as saying when he met with the Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar, Dr. Ahmed bin Hassan Al Hammadi, in Doha.

The envoys appreciated the cordial bilateral relations both countries enjoy since the establishment of diplomatic relations about a decade ago in 2013.

They agreed that the good service being offered by the Qatar Airways by launching direct flight to Abuja will be expanded to Kano, Enugu and Port Harcourt while acknowledging the contributions of the State of Qatar to the improvement of livelihood of many Nigerians in some states of the country through Qatar Charity and similar organisations;

The Permanent Secretary was accompanied to the meeting by the Nigerian Ambassador to the State of Qatar, Yakubu Ahmed, and the Head of Chancery, Mr. Kimiebi Ebienfa.

According to the statement, the Federal Government is currently deepening natural gas utilisation to enable it to boost investment in power and gas-based industries.

Aduda called for investment in gas exploration and infrastructure, technology exchange, skills acquisition and knowledge sharing, manpower development in safety and environment.

He also listed other areas of potential partnership to include gas shipping and marine transportation, advocacy and collaboration in campaigning for gas as fuel of choice in the midst of climate change and global energy transition.

As a result, the permanent secretary called for relaxation of visa restrictions on Nigerians who intend to visit Qatar as well as easing of work visa for Nigerian professionals.

In his response, Al Hammadi recalled the robust relations between Nigeria and Qatar and lauded the proposal for cooperation between the two countries.

According to him, Qatar is ready to provide training for Nigerian diplomats.

To achieve this, he said the Head of the Diplomatic Institute would meet with the Nigerian side and agree on the terms and develop a framework to actualise set objectives.

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