Uche Cecil Izuora
Qatar is targeting investment in Nigeria’s promising energy sector after revealing $5 billion investment plan in the country.
Both countries are in talks over partnering in Nigeria’s Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF).
Last year, Nigeria had requested to enhance its economic cooperation with Qatar in gas development to boost its investment in the industry.
Qatar has also expressed interest in working with Nigeria on labour migration, according to a top official.
The Chargé d’Affaires of Qatar’s Embassy in Nigeria, Ahmad Al-Horr, revealed this in Abuja during a meeting with Minister of Labour and Employment Chris Ngige.
“Qatar needs more Nigerian component in its labour force because the number of Nigerian workers in the country is limited,” the envoy said.
Al-Horr also noted a machinery for a formal bilateral agreement with Nigeria on the matter has been put in place.
“We are processing the bilateral agreement between Nigeria and Qatar on the regulation of employment of Nigerian migrant workers in the State of Qatar.
“We need a relationship with the Labour Ministry because the number of Nigerian workers in Qatar is limited. We want more Nigerian workers in our country,” he added.
Ngige, responding said his ministry was working to formalise the bilateral agreement between Nigeria and Qatar on labour migration. Officials hope the deal is among those to be signed by the president during his upcoming visit to the Gulf state.
“We need Nigerians to work in your place. We also appeal to you to find a way of formalising the stay of Nigerians who are living and working in your place illegally,” he added, pointing to potential work in oil and gas.
Nigeria is Africa’s largest economy and top oil exporter, with crude oil sales accounting for 90 per cent of its foreign exchange earnings.