12 June 2015, Lagos – The Deputy Head of Mission, Russian Embassy, Valeriy Shaposhmikov has said two major Russian oil companies, Gazprom and Lukoil would be coming to invest in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector.
Speaking to journalists during the Russian Federation Day celebration on Thursday in Abuja, the diplomat observed that there are various opportunities for Russian firms in Nigeria, noting that Gazprom could be involved in developing oil and gas pipelines infrastructure and protection system.
He said, “As you know, we have an agreement signed on the construction of nuclear power plants in Nigeria. The implementation of this project only, in addition to a substantial increase in power generation capacity, is able to bring a minimum of 10,000 jobs and create new industries in the country.
“An important area could be oil and gas sector – a major Russian oil and gas company Gazprom could be involved in developing pipelines infrastructure and protection system, an oil company Lukoil is coming to work here. There is interest in the development of the solid mineral resources.”
Shaposhmikov said his country looks forward to getting support from the Federal Government to solve the critical issues in Alascon Aluminium Company, Akwa-Ibom State, which is owned by Rusal, a Russian aluminum company.
He stated that Alscon needs non-stop supply of gas as constant interruptions in gas delivery to the company had led to great losses, putting into question the existence of the commercial project.
“We do also worry about the safety of investment. The property rights of Rusal over Alscon shares should be confirmed. With all these problems removed, Alscon will be able to restart producing aluminum,” the envoy said.
While welcoming guests to the anniversary celebration, the Russian Ambassador, Mr. Nikolay Udovichenko, said he supported the recent changes in Nigeria explaining that peaceful and democratic transition of power was an important step towards development.
He expressed willingness to work with Nigeria in the security, economic and educational sectors even as he applauded President Muhammadu Buhari on his commitment to fight terrorism, adding that the Russian Federation is ready to give the necessary support.
“We do not only strongly wish the new Nigerian government success in this field, but we are also ready to give all necessary support in different spheres, including security, economy and even education,” Udovichenko promised.