Oil prices 'totally unacceptable', Nigerian president tells Qatar's ruler

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LAGOS (Reuters) - The OPEC cartel needs to take action to stabilize the oil market because crude prices have fallen to “totally unacceptable” levels, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said on Sunday.

Nigeria, Africa’s biggest oil producer which earns around 90 percent of its foreign exchange earnings from crude oil exports, has been hit hard by the erosion of vital revenues caused by the global slump in oil prices which has also hammered its currency.

“The current market situation in the oil industry is unsustainable and totally unacceptable,” Buhari told Qatar’s ruler during a meeting in Doha, his office said in a statement.

Speaking on the second day of his visit, Buhari highlighted the need for cooperation between OPEC and non-OPEC producers.

“We must cooperate both within and outside our respective organizations to find a common ground to stabilize the market,” said Buhari, who also discussed ways to stabilize prices with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman in Riyadh last week.

On Thursday, Venezuela’s oil minister said Qatar, Russia, and Saudi Arabia had agreed to a meeting in mid-March as part of efforts to stabilize oil markets.

Buhari’s spokesman, Femi Adesina, added that delegations from Nigeria and Qatar signed two bilateral agreements to “boost economic cooperation” between the countries.

There was an agreement to avoid double taxation and tax evasion as well as another that would pave the way for direct flights between major cities of both countries.

Writing by Ulf Laessing and Alexis Akwagyiram; Editing by Ros Russell