Nigeria has earned over $1 billion from Portugal through the sale of natural gas so far in 2022.
Disclosing this on Thursday June 30, 2022 at the sidelines of the 2nd United Nations Ocean Conference in Portugal was the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd. (NNPC), Mele Kyari.
Kyari is in the high-level business delegation led by President Muhammadu Buhari to the Nigeria-Portugal Business & Trade Forum holding in Portugal.
The NNPC has failed, citing subsidy, to remit money to the federation accout for five consecutive months, and has already recorded a N704bn deficit in the year.
In a fallout from the development, JPMorgan, an American multinational investment bank, has removed Nigeria from its list of emerging market sovereign recommendations that investors should be “overweight” in.
The investment bank said Nigeria’s national oil company did not transfer any revenue to the government from January to March this year due to petrol subsidies and low oil production, as it moved Nigeria’s debt out of the bank’s “overweight” category.
“Nigeria’s fiscal woes amid a worsening global risk backdrop have raised market concerns despite a positive oil environment,” it said.
In its latest monthly presentation to the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC), the NNPC said it deducted another N327.07bn as shortfall in the month under review.
However, Kyari said at the UN conference, “This year alone, we have sold over a billion dollar worth of natural gas to Portugal.”
The NNPC GMD added there were ample opportunities to grow energy supply to Portugal, saying Nigeria had invested in critical infrastructure to ensure domestic gas availability and increase gas supply to the international market.
He highlighted the age-long energy partnership between the two countries, stressing that Nigeria supplies 70 per cent of energy imports to the European nation.
The conference is also being attended by ministers of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed; Industry, Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo; Youth and Sports, Sunday Dare; and Communication and Digital Economy, Isa Patami, among others.