On Sunday, Nigeria and the state of Qatar signed a Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA). The agreement allows for direct flights between both countries. The two oil-producing states also signed an agreement to avoid double taxation and tax evasion.
Nigeria’s Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika and Qatar’s Minister of Transportation and Communications Jassim Bin Saif Alsulaiti signed the agreement on behalf of their respective state leaders. Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun and Qatari Minister of Finance as well, Ali Shareef Al Emadi signed the avoidance of double taxation and tax evasion agreement. Both state leaders were present during the signings.
The airline agreement is also expected to spill over onto other areas by promoting trade, commerce, tourism and travel between both countries.
“Qatar is the richest country in the world at the moment in terms of per capita income, their economy is strong and their national carrier, Qatar airlines, is one of the most viable and most focused in the industry.
“They (Qatar airlines) presently fly to Nigeria, but they want to fly to more cities and with the focus of the present administration in Nigeria on establishing a national carrier, we have commenced discussions on how we can partner with countries like Qatar in our quest to establish a national carrier”.
Nigeria’s Minister of Finance was also enthusiastic about the arrangement, saying that;
“What is symbolic in this agreement is that the Qataris who are already investing heavily in Nigeria will bring in more investments because the earlier lack of an agreement to avoid double taxation was a stumbling block to some of the investors.
“I am very confident that the signing of this agreement will bring much more investment and business between Qatar and Nigeria,” she told reporters after signing the agreement.
Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geofrey Onyeama confirmed that the meeting between both leaders was fruitful and the Qatari leader expressed delight in helping Nigeria.
“The Qatari leader acknowledged that President Buhari has really created an enabling environment for businesses to thrive in the country.
“The Emir made the point on the war against corruption in Nigeria and the progress President Buhari is making in that front and they are of the opinion that if that problem is addressed with focused polices, the country will progress.
“The Emir also made it clear that the Qatari’s are ready to invest in Nigeria in a big way”, Mr Onyeama said.