The fourth German-Nigerian energy conference took place in the Federal Foreign Office yesterday (26 May). Representatives of the German Government, the Nigerian Government and German business discussed financing options for concrete projects in the Nigerian energy sector, especially in the fields of electricity generation, energy grids and gas production. The Nigerian delegation was headed by Dr Rilwanu Lukman, Minister of Oil, and the German delegation by Heinrich Tiemann, State Secretary of the Federal Foreign Office.
The German-Nigerian energy partnership was initiated by Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier when he visited Nigeria in August 2007. During the visit he reached an agreement with President Yar'Adua on closer cooperation in the energy sector. The plan is for German energy supply companies to help develop and expand the country's energy infrastructure. At the same time, German energy supply companies are to become involved in Nigerian natural gas production.
The first German-Nigerian energy conference was held on 20 October 2007 in the Nigerian capital of Abuja, and there were further meetings on 18 April 2008 in Berlin and on 19 August 2008 again in Abuja.
Nigeria's natural gas reserves are considered to be the seventh largest in the world. They have scarcely been exploited to date. 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.