On Monday, a group of European Union (EU) Ambassasdors paid a courtesy visit to the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC). According to reports from Channels TV, the EU delegation is seeking to strengthen its partnership with Nigeria in the energy sector.
Samuela Isopi, the ambassador who spoke on behalf of the EU delegates as per Channels TV, said of the visit –
“Nigeria is the fourth gas supplier to Europe. At least 40% of the Nigerian LNG is currently exported to Europe. We are not only major clients for Nigeria. We are also major partners in the Oil and Gas sector because some of the companies that are working with you are from Europe. So we share the same interest and same objectives,” Ambassador Isopi stated according to a statement signed by NNPC spokesperson, Garba Deen Muhammad.
The current geopolitical crisis which EU, NATO and USA currently find themselves embroiled in after never before seen sanctions on Russia, has seen EU scrambling for LNG alternatives in their bid to wean themselves of Russian oil and gas.
Mele Kyari, the GMD/CEO of NNPC, assured the European delegation that the company would “continue to deepen its historical relationship with EU companies in Nigeria in order to add more value to its business, particularly towards increasing gas supply to the global market and enhancing domestic gas utilisation.”
However, the meeting has some Nigerians questioning the motive behind such cooperation. Speaking about the recent meeting, a lot of netizens has expressed deep concerns about the impact of such deepening of relations on the local economy. This comes as gas prices in the country continue to skyrocket despite the abundance of the natural resources in the country as well as construction of new Trains. Here are some of the comments Uptownerd gathered so far –
“If Nigeria had been a serious country, she would have taken the place of Russia in Europe. But how can Nigeria meet Europe’s LNG demand when it cannot meet its local demand?” said @smartpolician.
Another, @ObinnaJohnson said –
“Hmmm, these people remember to partner with African countries only when they have a lot to gain. I really don’t trust them.”
@anewchapter said –
“They are here to exploit again.. imagine country with oil but can’t refine it.”
@Eegoobetter added –
“they want to steal our gas as they are doing to our crude oil”
Another netizen, @Drenimarcus reminded that –
“Europe is coming to exploit Nigeria resources. Remember buhari received a loan from the EU last year.”
@Daddgoo quipped – “As Putin don show them red light, Dem remember Naija.”
@Princepioneer said –
“NIGERIAN GOVERNMENT SHOULD BETTER MAKE USE OF THEIR BRAIN BECAUSE THESE EUROPEANS ARE CUNNING… WHY IS IT THE ENERGY SECTOR ONLY TGEM WAN PARTNER WITH?? GAS WEY NEVER SERVE US FINNISH NA HIM DEY WAN USE STYLE KOLOBI… undecided undecided undecided angry angry angry���…OYIBO NA WA FOR UNA OO�”
It remains to be seen what the Nigerian government will present as it’s offer this time. Citizens has over the years lambasted what it called a “shady deal” that ensures Europe processes Nigerian crude while the nation’s four refineries lie in ruins.
Other diplomats from the European delegation that visited the NNPC include:
•Luis Barros, Ambassador of Portugal;
• Juan Sell, Ambassador of Spain;
• Stefano De Leo, Ambassador of Italy; • Olivier Chatelais, Deputy Head of Mission (France).