President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday began a week long visit to Saudi Arabia and Qatar and will stopover in Mecca to pray for greater peace, prosperity and progress in Nigeria according to Femi Adesina, Senior Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, in a statement on Sunday.
The President will also discuss falling oil prices with Saudi and Qatari leaders.
Adesina said the president would be accompanied by a high-powered Federal Government delegation, including the Minister of State (Petroleum) and Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Ibe Kachikwu.
The presidential spokesman said Buhari would first fly to Riyadyh for talks tomorrow with King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and senior officials of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
According to him, ongoing efforts by Nigeria and other members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to achieve greater stability in the price of crude oil exports are expected to be high on the agenda of discussions between President Buhari and the Saudi monarch.
Adesina said crude oil prices and market stability would also be on the front burner when President Buhari goes on to Doha on Saturday for talks on Sunday with the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.
Kachikwu had already met with his Qatari counterpart Mohammed al-Sada on yesterday, the Qatari Oil Ministry said in a statement. Qatar holds the current OPEC presidency.
He said the president is also scheduled to meet with leading Saudi and Qatari businessmen in Riyadh and Doha, and invite them to support his administration’s efforts to revamp the Nigerian economy by taking advantage of the great investment opportunities currently available in Nigeria’s mining, agriculture, power supply, infrastructure, transportation, communications and other sectors.
The presidential aide listed Buhari’s other engagements in Saudi Arabia as including meetings with heads of international financial organisations and multilateral associations.