BY MADUABUCHI EFEGADI
President Muhammadu Buhari in Spain for a state visit, along with Mele Kyari, the group managing director and chief executive of NNPC Limited, has been showcasing investment opportunities in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry, restating a commitment to sustain strategic energy partnership between Nigeria and the European country.
Nigeria, though dwarfs Spain with a population of about 216 million, it, however, trails distantly behind the European country’s towering GDP of $1.281 trillion as of 2020. The West African country’s GDP currently stands at $446.54 billion.
Kyari, while addressing Nigerian and Spanish business leaders in Madrid, Spain, on investment opportunities in the Nigerian oil and gas industry, explained that the world would need energy for today and for the future in industries such as power, IT, automobile, among others.
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“We know that energy transition is real. We know that net-zero by 2050-2060 is real. But it doesn’t mean zero hydrocarbons in 2050-2060. It means that you are going to have a cleaner use of hydrocarbons,” Kyari said, while speaking on the sidelines of President Buhari’s state visit to Spain.
He said investors must see where their money can come out, and when they invest, they must see that they can recover their cost and make some margin from it.
President Buhari had earlier met with the Spanish President, Pedro Sanchez, King of Spain, Filipe VI, and gave a speech at the headquarters of the World Tourism Organization, WTO, in Madrid.
Buhari said Nigeria looked forward to increasing bilateral relations with Spain, and signed bilateral agreements and memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with the Spanish leader, covering areas of the economy, sports and culture and prisoner transfer.
Kyari described the partnership between Nigeria and Spain as important for the national oil company (NOC), saying 26 percent of all LNG produced in Nigeria ends up in Spain. Additionally, 14 percent of all crude oil produced in Nigeria ends up in the European country.
He said, clearly, “for us as a business, it is an important market for our company,” noting that in line with global acceptance of gas as a transition fuel, Nigeria has since declared 2021-2030 as the decade of gas.
“In our country today, we have a legislation that has clearly created a commercial national oil company (NOC) which will be unveiled by our President in the coming days. Together with the Spanish business community, I am confident we can build this industry,” Kyari stated.