The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has disclosed that it is looking for more markets for Nigeria’s gas.
It stated that it was looking further into the European markets for sale of gas, adding that through such possible markets, it hopes to generate maximum economic benefit from the nation’s enormous gas resources.
A statement from the Group General Manager, Public Affairs of the NNPC, Ohi Alegbe, yesterday in Abuja, said the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Andrew Yakubu, made this disclosure while playing host to a Belgian business delegation under the auspices of the Flanders Investment and Trade Mission in his office.
Yakubu said: “Europe is a good market for gas. Incidentally, Belgium has important terminals such as the Port of Antwerp through which Nigeria hopes to get its gas to the rest of Europe. We are working on independently marketing our abundant gas resources to Europe.”
Yakubu, who was represented by the Coordinator, Corporate Policy and Strategy of NNPC, Dr. Tim Okon, said the NNPC would strategically position itself to attract investments to boost Nigeria’s economy.
While reiterating the need for collaboration between foreign investors and Nigerian businesses to domesticate the country’s gas industry, he stated that: “Gas is a strong mechanism for not only power generation and job creation, but also for growth and development.”
The statement stated that earlier in his address, the leader of the delegation and the Belgian Ambassador to Nigeria, Ambassador Dirk Verleyen, said no fewer than 60 Belgian companies had indicated interest to invest in Nigeria.
He said Belgian companies wishing to invest in Nigeria cut across various sectors including energy, telecommunications, construction, transport, postal service, entertainment, engineering and agriculture.
Also, the President of the Port of Antwerp and the Deputy Mayor of Antwerp, Mr. Mark van Peel, said in the statement that the trade volume between Belgium and Nigeria was higher than most people knew.
Peel said: “Our country is the third largest European exporter to Nigeria with a total export figure of almost two billion Euros a year.”
According to the statement, the business delegation particularly showed interest in building the capacity of staff of the nation’s refineries and other oil and gas installations in the area of safety of equipment.
The Flanders Investment and Trade Mission is the Belgian government agency supporting home-based companies doing business abroad and foreign companies looking to set up or expand operations in Flanders, the northern region of Belgium.