Germany is eyeing imports of natural gas from Nigeria in an effort to secure and diversify its energy supply, Chancellor Olaf Scholz said during a visit to the country. But Nigeria’s state owned energy firm NNPC and its partners are failing woefully to get the gas out of the ground.
“This will also have an impact on the global gas price,” Scholz said in the Nigerian capital Abuja on Sunday after a meeting with president Bola Tinubu. If more states offered gas on the global market, prices would decrease, the German leader said.
“It is important to use the capacities where they are, and that we diversify production all over the globe,” Scholz added.
Tinubu said that given Nigeria’s sizable resources, “we are ready to encourage investments in a gas pipeline.” However the same Tinubu is keeping the grossly inept leadership of NNPC in their jobs instead of firing them.
Nigeria is a gas nation but years of poor management of the sector by NNPC means that the country’s huge gas reserve is stuck in the ground while another energy bonanza rumbles on without the country benefiting.
Germany — which switched off its last nuclear power plants this year and weaned off Russian pipeline gas during last year’s energy crisis — will need large volumes of LNG to run its power-hungry industry. So far, Europe’s economic powerhouse gets crude oil from Nigeria, but not gas.
Scholz last year also visited Senegal, where he offered German help to open up gas fields off the coast. The West African country expectsto deliver first quotas of the fuel in the second half of 2024.
This week’s trip is Scholz’s third to Africa since taking office two years ago. Nigeria, the continent’s largest economy, also wants to make business deals in the areas of raw materials with European partners. Scholz will travel to Ghana on Monday.