Chancellor Olaf Scholz of Germany traveled to Nigeria on October 29th to explore new avenues for energy and economic collaborations while emphasizing the need to diversify Germany's energy resources. Following a meeting with Nigeria's President Bola Tinubu, Chancellor Scholz underscored the importance of the burgeoning energy partnership between the two nations.
Scholz spoke at a press conference, stating, “This is about gas, but also about hydrogen as the gas of the future – clean and climate-neutral.” He further disclosed Germany's ongoing initiatives, including the operation of a hydrogen office in Nigeria and their commitment to advancing renewable energy projects. Chancellor Scholz also highlighted a shared intent to invest in critical minerals, while emphasizing the significance of initiating the first processing stage within the country of origin.
Despite Nigeria's status as Africa's largest oil exporter and possessing substantial gas reserves, the country has yet to tap into these resources at a large scale. Furthermore, its gas network infrastructure remains underdeveloped, as reported by Tagesspiegel Background. President Tinubu acknowledged the need for improvements, expressing readiness to promote investments in gas pipelines.
Chancellor Scholz emphasized that increased gas exports from Nigeria could have a moderating impact on global market prices, contributing to greater stability. Notably, this move follows Germany's previous efforts to support Senegal in the exploration of fossil gas resources off its coast, which had drawn criticism from various think tanks and non-governmental organizations.
Germany's shift in its international outlook and energy policies is partly attributed to Russia's conflict with Ukraine and the resulting energy crisis. As a response, Germany is in the process of constructing liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminals along its coastline. The country now aims to establish novel partnerships and enhance collaboration in energy and raw materials sectors, not only with Nigeria but also with countries like the United States, South America, Australia, Japan, and across the African continent.