Nigeria and Germany intend to step up their cooperation in the energy sector. To this end, a memorandum of understanding was signed yesterday (19 August) in the Nigerian capital Abuja, envisaging a series of joint projects: in the natural gas sector, the repair and construction of power plants, as well as electricity supply. The aim of the projects is to generate 6500 megawatt hours per year. This would bring about a twofold increase in Nigeria's energy supply.
The memorandum of understanding has advantages for both sides: the expertise of German companies will enable Nigeria to expand and further develop its energy infrastructure, a matter of some urgency. In return, German energy supply companies are to be involved in Nigerian natural gas production.
The agreement is part of the process initiated by Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier when he visited Nigeria in August 2007. During the visit President Yar'Adua and Minister Steinmeier agreed on closer cooperation in the energy sector.
Nigeria's natural gas supply, which has hardly been exploited to date, is considered to be the seventh largest in the world. Despite its huge energy resources, however, Nigeria's energy infrastructure – especially in the electricity sector – remains inadequate. German companies can help remedy these deficits – also by rapidly constructing new installations that will utilize renewable sources of energy.
At the third German-Nigerian energy conference the German delegation was headed by Mr Heinrich Tiemann, State Secretary of the Federal Foreign Office, and the Nigerian delegation by Dr Rilwanu Lukman, Adviser to the Nigerian President on Energy Matters.