15 August, Sweetcrude, Gabarone – Nigeria and Botswana are finalising a deal on crude oil supply to the Southern African country. If sealed, the supply will be done through the Walvis Bay route.
Nigeria’s High Commissioner to Botswana, Ambassador Okubotin Charles Cocodia, disclosed this in Gaborone, after presenting his Letters of Credence to Botswana President Seretse Khama Ian Khama.
The Botswana leader is billed to visit Nigeria tomorrow as part of moves in finalising the deal.
Botswana’s Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources officials were in Nigeria last year to assess the viability of Nigerian oil as a source of energy for Botswana.
Ambassador Cocodia, according to a statement by Moses Adeoye, the Head of Chancery of the Nigerian High Commission in Botswana, expressed the optimism that discussions on crude oil and gas importation between the two countries would bear fruit.
He also appealed for private sector participation in the construction of a refinery that could be built in either of the two countries.
Botswana experienced one of its worst fuel shortages in history at the end of last year due to a fuel pipeline burst in South Africa, the major source of its petrolelum products.
This led the country to negotiate alternative suppliers and routes with Nigeria, Mozambique and Namibia.
The High Commissioner said the two countries will cooperate in agriculture having learnt that Botswana is a success story in the beef industry.
According to him, “With a population estimated to be around 150 million, Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and the eighth most populous in the world. We can look at option of exporting beef to my country (Nigeria) in processed form or otherwise.”
While presenting his credentials to President Khama, Ambassador Cocodia spoke on the need to broaden and deepen the cooperation between the two countries with a promise to explore new and mutually beneficial opportunities that would galvanize trade and investment between both countries. President Khama described Nigeria as a big brother to his country and expressed gratitude for Nigeria’s assistance to Botswana at a time it was surrounded by hostile and bellicose countries that threatened its sovereignty and territorial integrity.
He expressed the hope that his proposed visit to President Goodluck Jonathan tomorrow will further cement the existing cordial and bilateral relations between the two counties.