President Muhammadu Buhari is to visit the Gulf for a week-long tour, with a focus on ending the global slump in oil prices that has hammered Nigeria’s crude-reliant economy, his office said on Sunday.
Buhari, accompanied by Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, the junior oil minister and head of the state-run oil firm, begins his trip in Riyadh on Monday, meeting King Salman bin Abdulaziz and senior Saudi officials.
“Ongoing efforts by Nigeria and other members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to achieve greater stability in the price of oil exports are expected to be high on the agenda of discussions between President Buhari and the Saudi monarch,” a statement read.
Oil prices rallied on Wednesday and Thursday last week following talks by major producers on a potential agreement to limit production in response to the fall in prices since mid-2014.
Saudi Arabia and Russia agreed to freeze production if other producers followed suit but prices dropped again on Friday because of market scepticism.
Nigeria, which is Africa’s number one oil producer, has been hit hard by the slump, which has squeezed government revenue and severely weakened the naira currency.