09 June 2014, Abuja – The management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, said it is looking for more markets for the nation’s gas on the European Continent in order to generate maximum economic benefit from the nation’s enormous gas resources.
The Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Engr. Andrew Yakubu, made this revelation over the weekend while playing host to a Belgian business delegation under the auspices of the Flanders Investment & Trade Mission in his office at the NNPC Towers, Abuja.
He 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.”
Engr. Yakubu who was represented by the Coordinator, Corporate Policy & Strategy, Dr. Tim Okon,noted that NNPC would strategically position itself to attract investments to boost the nation’s economy, adding that “gas is a strong mechanism for not only power generation and job creation, but also for growth and development.”
He also reiterated the need for collaboration between foreign investors and Nigerian businesses in order to domesticate the gas industry in the country.
The leader of the delegation and the Belgian Ambassador to Nigeria, Ambassador Dirk Verleyen, in his address earlier, said that no fewer than 60 Belgian companies had indicated interest to invest in Nigeria.
He said that Belgian companies wishing to invest in Nigeria cut across various sectors including energy, telecommunications, construction, transport, postal service, entertainment, engineering and agriculture.
Also speaking, the President of the Port of Antwerp and the Deputy Mayor of Antwerp, Mr. Mark van Peel, said the trade volume between Belgium and Nigeria was higher than most people know.
“Our country is the third largest European exporter to Nigeria with a total export figure of almost two billion euros a year,” van Peel disclosed.
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 & 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.