Grappling with its own energy needs, the African country lacks the capacity to supply Berlin, an expert has told RT
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz landed in Nigeria on Sunday as part of a two-nation tour of West Africa, which Greens legislator Anton Hofreiter believes is motivated by the realization that Germany and Europe need Africa more than they previously thought.
“People realized we needed allies against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine… And suddenly we noticed they weren’t necessarily on our side… That was a rude awakening,” Reuters quoted Hofreiter as saying ahead of Scholz’s trip.
The chancellor’s trip to Africa, his third since taking office in 2021 and his second this year, comes as Berlin seeks new energy sources as it transitions away from relying on Moscow for gas supplies amid the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
“Nigeria has the largest gas reserves in Africa. German companies have an interest in gas supplies from Nigeria and look forward to working with Nigerian gas companies,” Scholz told local newspaper the Punch.
He said Germany recognizes Africa’s largest economy as a key partner on the continent, both politically and economically, and is interested in strengthening those ties.
Nigeria is Germany’s second largest trading partner in sub-Saharan Africa, with German direct investment totaling €150 million ($158 million) in 2021, according to Scholz.
Berlin currently imports large quantities of crude oil from the country, but no gas.
“Germany has a significant need for natural gas and, in the future, hydrogen for its economy and its energy transition,” the German leader said, calling for joint initiatives with Nigeria “to establish a corresponding market.”
Nigerian President Bola Tinubu said he had a “very deep discussion” with Scholz about gas investments and urged German companies to invest in pipelines in Nigeria.
“I know Germany has advanced a lot in protecting the environment and modernizing energy to meet the 21st century needs of both the world and Europe in particular. Nigeria is still crawling, but we are determined to change the narrative and bring about a transformative government in the country,” Tinubu said.
Kelvin Emmanuel, a development economist and oil and gas expert, told RT on Monday that it would be difficult for Nigeria to replace Russia as Germany’s natural gas supplier. This is due to the African country’s lack of technological capacity and oil theft issues, he explained.
According to him, the output of natural gas from Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG) has dropped from 3 billion standard cubic feet to around 1.7 to 1.8 billion standard cubic feet in recent years, rendering it unable to meet local and international supply demands.
“Considering that it’s not even able to meet its forwards and it’s operating at 68% capacity utilization, I wonder where they are going to get the gas from,” he said.
October 30, 2023 at 05:21PM