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Russian-Ukraine War: Nigeria ready to supply gas to Europe —— Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari says Nigeria is ready to fill the gas supply gaps in Europe created by the ongoing Russian-Ukrainian war. 

Technocrat Media

President Muhammadu Buhari says Nigeria is ready to fill the gas supply gaps in Europe created by the ongoing Russian-Ukrainian war. 

He made the disclosure on Thursday in Lisbon, Portugal during Nigeria-Portugal Business Forum.

Mr Buhari also said with over 200 million mainly young people, Nigeria is ready to be the hub of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA).

According to Garba Shehu, senior special assistant to the president on media, the president urged Portugal to consider Nigeria as a valued and trusted partner in Africa.

He identified five key areas of cooperation and collaboration capable of moving both countries forward. 

He said: ‘‘At a time the world is going through turbulent times, we feel that a strong friendship and partnership between Nigeria and Portugal can act as a force for good.’’ 

Mr Buhari listed oil and gas, tourism and hospitality industry, air travel, security, and joint commission as areas of cooperation. 

On oil and gas, he said with the current Russian-Ukraine war, increased cooperation in oil and gas between the two countries has become vital to avoid a crisis in the demand and supply chain, even as Nigeria is already a major supplier of gas to Portugal. 

In the tourism and hospitality industry, the president explained that Nigeria had huge potential in the sector and would like to benefit from the enormous expertise of his hosts in this area as shown in Portugal becoming a prime tourist destination. 

Speaking on air travel, the president emphasized the need to sign a Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) and quickly establish a direct air link between the two countries.

He noted that cooperation between the two counties in this area is vital for increased trade and investment, tourism promotion, people-to-people contact as well as social and cultural engagement. 

Affirming Nigeria’s renewed commitment to the fight against terrorism in Lake Chad and the Sahel Region, he told his Portuguese counterpart that Nigeria would welcome the support of the Portuguese Government through intelligence and information sharing, weapons, and training of security personnel of member states.

Mr Buahri also stressed the need to establish a joint commission, saying: 

‘‘We believe that the establishment of a Joint Commission will help to promote the full realization of the objectives of our bilateral relations.

‘‘The Commission would facilitate the institutionalization of cooperation mechanisms and permit the elaboration and implementation of concrete, specific and viable projects and programmes for the benefit of our people.’’

Mr Buhari also added that both countries can cooperate closely on a range of agricultural and renewable energy projects. 

‘‘Nigeria recognizes Portugal’s comparative advantages in the fields of renewable energy and pharmaceuticals which are also priority areas for Nigeria.

 ‘‘Other areas of cooperation which are of importance include; the establishment of an Atlantic Research Centre; political consultations; diplomatic training; cultural cooperation; investment promotion; chambers of commerce cooperation; women and child development; youth and sports development and digital economy cooperation. 

‘‘That is why we look forward to signing Memoranda of Understanding and Cooperation Agreements in those areas,’’ he said.

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