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Nigeria, U.S. trade worth hits $35bn



he worth of trade in energy, technology and others between Nigeria and United States (U.S.) has hit $35 billion. The Federal Government, which yesterday declared this, noted that the U.S. is very eager to further share its energy resources and expertise with Nigeria and other countries in Africa. Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Maikanti Baru, who said this during a meeting with the United States Energy Secretary, Rick Perry, according to a statement, declared plans by Nigeria to extend the $1 billion West Africa Gas Pipeline to Morocco. Baru, the statement issued by Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Ndu Ughamadu read, also called for more integration among countries within the West African sub-region towards providing lasting solutions to the region’s numerous energy challenges.

“Nigeria as a regional leader has already encouraged regional integration by first putting up the West African Gas Pipeline (WAGP) to ensure gas is available to West Africa. We are also doing the Trans Sahara Gas Pipeline (TSGP), even as we are intent on extending the WAGP to Morocco,” Baru was quoted to have told the US Energy Secretary at the 19th CERAWeek Conference taking place in Houston, United States. Energy integration across the sub-region, he said, was necessary as it would drastically reduce unemployment and restiveness as well as improve the economies of the affected countries. The NNPC helmsman noted that this would put up power plants and other gas-based industries along those areas within the respective countries. The GMD said Nigeria’s crude oil production had seen tremendous improvement in recent years, due to Federal Government’s laudable efforts in ensuring security in the Niger Delta region. He said Nigeria and U.S. had been very good partners with about $35 billion worth of trade between the two countries.

Earlier in his remarks, Perry expressed his country’s commitment towards helping Africa achieve energy independence for the benefit of their people. “For our part, we will support progress by engaging economically as well as championing open markets in societies.

We endorse the modernization of critical oil and gas infrastructure which leads to better security and diversification of energy supplies and exports,” he noted. Describing innovation as the surest path to energy security, Perry added that once countries innovate, they are greeted with greater economic growth, opportunities and national security. “We support efforts to improve the regional interconnectivity. We also see energy access as critical to increasing prosperity and combating the cycle of poverty,” he added. He said as the number one producer of oil and natural gas in the world, the U.S. was more than wellpositioned to not only share its resources, but also its technology and know-how. He said his country would work towards transforming Africa’s domestic energy systems so that it would provide power, create jobs, foster development, open up new opportunities and improve almost every facet of human existence on the continent. “The U.S. is very eager to share its energy resources and expertise with the African continent. As we go forward, we want to be a desired partner in ensuring that the global energy market are supplied with the diversity of energy sources,” he stated.

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