For his fourth foreign trip in 2023, the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Saturday night, arrived Doha, the Qatari capital, to attend the 5th United Nations Conference on least developed countries.
This is according to updates obtained from the President’s Special Adviser on Digital Communications, Bashir Ahmad.
In an earlier statement signed on Saturday by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, Buhari’s visit is at the instance of the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.
The statement was titled ‘President Buhari attends UN conference on least developed countries in Qatar.’
According to Shehu, Buhari and his counterparts from across the world will converge in Qatar between March 5 – 9, 2023, to discuss the theme “From Potential to Prosperity”
The trip comes six months after the government of Qatar declined an earlier visit slated for September 11 and 12, 2022, because “the proposed dates were not suitable.”
Qatar’s embassy in Nigeria had relayed a letter to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stating that the proposed dates were not convenient for Al Thani.
It therefore asked for other dates in the first quarter of 2023.
At the time, the Gulf Nation was finalising preparations for the 2022 World Cup.
A verbale from the Qatar Embassy on August 19, 2022 read “The Embassy of the State of Qatar in Abuja presents its compliments to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (Regions Department) and with reference to the latte’s Note M 403/2022 dated 12/08/2022 informing that H.E Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has accepted to visit Qatar on 11-12 September 2022 on invitation of H.H Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, Emir of the State of Qatar.
“Has the honour to communicate that the proposed dates for the visit are not suitable and kindly request the Nigerian side to propose other dates for the visit during the first quarter of the year 2023.
“The Embassy of the State of Qatar avails itself of this opportunity to renew to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (Regions Department) the assurance of its highest consideration.”
Shehu noted “The conference which is from March 5 – 9, 2023 under the theme: From Potential to Prosperity, holds once in a decade and provides an opportunity to garner the support of the international community for accelerating sustainable development in the LDCs as well as assist them make progress towards achieving prosperity.”
In Doha, Buhari will reinforce Nigeria’s commitment to support the most vulnerable countries to meet their development challenges, highlighting areas through which the Nigerian government has provided them with various forms of assistance over time.
As most of these countries struggle to find sustainable solutions to challenges of poverty, adverse effects of climate change, food and energy crisis as well as high-debt burden among others, the President will vigorously reiterate the need for sustainable solutions for countries facing these severe challenges.
Present at the summit will be world leaders, the private sector, civil society and youth organisations.
The participants will share developmental ideas and mobilise political will, solidarity, action and solutions to transform the LDCs, by finding sustainable solutions to the challenges of poverty, food insecurity, hunger, weak or non-existent infrastructure, inadequate health facilities, climate change among others as they struggle to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
Qatar is the President’s fourth foreign destination in 2023.
So far, he has visited Mauritania in January, Senegal in late January and Ethiopia in February.
In the previous year, the President embarked on 19 foreign trips.
The countries visited include Rwanda (June), Equatorial Guinea (May), Guinea Bissau (December), Niger (December), the United States (September and December), the United Kingdom (March and November), the United Arab Emirates (May), Liberia (July), South Korea (October), Ghana (June), Portugal (June), Spain (May), Belgium (February), Ethiopia (February), Kenya (March), Ivory Coast (May) and Senegal (July).
Buhari’s delegation to Qatar includes some Ministers and top government officials who are expected to use the opportunity of the visit to sign some agreements and Memoranda of Understanding with the Qatari government.
The President is expected to return to the country on Wednesday, March 8.
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