Oil Price Stability: President Buhari To Visit Saudi Arabia, Qatar

VacationPresident Muhammadu Buhari will begin a week-long official visit to Saudi Arabia and Qatar on Monday, February 22, for talks with King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and senior officials of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

High on the agenda of discussions between President Buhari and the Saudi Monarch, is the 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.

In a statement on Sunday the spokesperson for the President said that President Buhari would be accompanied by a high-powered Federal Government delegation. The Minister of State (Petroleum) and Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, (NNPC), Dr. Ibe Kachikwu will be part of the delegation.

The President will also fly to Riyadyh on Tuesday.

“Crude oil prices and market stability would also be on the front burner when President Buhari goes on to Doha on Saturday for talks with the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani,” the statement read.

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.

President Buhari’s other engagements in Saudi Arabia include meetings with Heads of International Financial Organisations and Multilateral Associations.

Before going on to Doha, the President will also visit Medina and Mecca to pray for greater peace, prosperity and progress in Nigeria.

Saudi King Abdullahi Dies At 90

saudi kingIt’s a sad day in Saudi Arabia as they mourn the death of their king, Abdullahi, who died on Friday.

Salman, his brother has now become king as stated by the royal court in the world’s top oil exporter and birthplace of Islam said in an official statement.

Abdullahi, who is said to have been born 1924, had ruled Saudi Arabia as the king since 2005, but had run the country as de facto regent for a decade before his predecessor King Fahd suffered a debilitating stroke.

According to the state television, “His Highness Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and all members of the family and the nation mourn the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, who passed away at exactly 1a.m. this morning”.

King Salman has named his half-brother Muqrin as heir to the throne, rapidly moving to forestall any fears of succession.

American President Barack Obama also expressed condolences and saluted the late king’s commitment to close   ties saying, “As a leader, he was always candid and had the courage of his convictions,” Obama said in a statement.

“One of those convictions was his steadfast and passionate belief in the importance of the U.S.-Saudi relationship as a force for stability and security in the Middle East and beyond.”

In contrast, radical Sunni Islamist militants who want the kingdom’s destruction rejoiced on Twitter and on hardline online forums, with some praying that God make the death of a man they see as a “tyrant” the beginning of the end for Saudi Arabia.

Abdullah pushed cautious changes in the conservative Islamic kingdom including increased women’s rights and economic deregulation, but made no moves towards democracy.

According to Jamal Khashoggi, the head of a news station owned by Saudi’s prince, Salam will continue with Abdullah’s reforms. He also added that King Abdullahi was not conservative in person, but he values the opinion of the conservative constituency of the country.