Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari invites Portuguese companies to invest in his country

Nigeria earns $1bn from gas exports to Portugal already this year

Plans “massive gas export to Portugal in next 5 years”

A little lost in the hurly burly of international news and political crisis has been the Portugal-Nigeria Economic Forum, held on the sidelines of the UN Oceans Conference in Lisbon this week. But what has come out of it has been fairly ‘explosive’ – bearing in mind the government’s skill at showing how little dependence Portugal has on Russian gas. 

Nigeria has earned over $1 billion from the sale of natural gas to Portugal in 2022 alone”, writes Leadership news – self-described as “Nigeria’s most influential daily national multimedia news content provider (…) with a strong commitment for good governance, national interests, equal justice and human rights.

The paper cites Mele Kyari, managing director of the NNPV (Nigerian National Petroleum Company) as explaining that President Muhammadu Buhari “led a high level business delegation to the Nigeria-Portugal Business & Trade Forum on the sidelines of the 2nd UN Ocean Conference in Portugal”, and that Nigeria “will in the next five years begin the massive exports of Liquified Natural Gas to Portugal and other European countries”.

From Leadership’s perspective: “Nigeria is pursuing energy transition in order to promote economic growth and is gradually investing in gas so as to reduce carbon emissions whilst continuing to exploit hydrocarbon resources.

“Currently, natural gas is the energy transition fuel for Nigeria. 
Nigeria is currently having six quadrillion BTU of energy production annually making it the second highest in Africa.

“The country also has a geographical vintage position with easy access to the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Ocean giving it unhindered access to the most critical global trade routes and markets”.

Mele Kyari told the online that “Nigeria provides 70 per cent of Liquified Natural Gas to Portugal; we are part of the sovereignty of energy security in Portugal – and as a matter of fact, the country is insulated from it in Europe because of the supply that is coming from Nigeria…”

“We are working to put extensive infrastructure on ground to ensure more supply to Europe and we are working with the European Union. We are on the Moroccan pipeline to ensure that we export to Europe and to ensure that in a very short time in no more than five years we will see massive of LNG supply from Nigeria into Portugal.

In Portugal, Lusa had a slightly different take on the forum, billing it more along the lines of President Buhari ‘inviting Portuguese companies to invest’ in Nigeria.

“The Nigerian head of state told Portuguese businessmen attending the forum that Nigeria has “many fiscal, commercial and monetary incentives” for investment and the Nigerian authorities could provide all the necessary information”, said the State news agency.

“Buhari also expressed hope that a Nigeria-Portugal Chamber of Commerce would soon be opened, two months after Portugal opened its first chamber of commerce with North Africa”.

Today in tabloid Correio da Manhã there is a very small news item, headlined: “Nigeria in the view of businesses”, and saying that President Marcelo sees the African nation as “very strong economically” and a country with which “thousands of Portuguese companies” could feel “at home”.

Reported only by Leadership was the opinion of Emeka Offor, head of the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission, who believes: ““Nigeria presents tremendous opportunity. Nigeria is a federation that is made up of 36 states including the Federal Capital Territory. If you look at Nigeria in that context, you’ll realize that each of the states in Nigeria has at least 10 opportunities.

“So, the investors coming from Portugal or elsewhere will need to see those opportunities in Nigeria and take advantage of those opportunities.

“Our Minister of Trade has already said that if you are doing business in Africa and you’re not in Nigeria, it could rightly be said that you have not started business in Africa.