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Abuja

Nigeria seals deal with largest trading partner, to supply 10 per cent crude oil needs

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THE Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is set to supply 10 per cent of India’s crude oil demand in the face of competing demand for crude oil from other countries.

The Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Corporation, Mele Kyari, announced the country’s readiness to continue the supply of 10 per cent of India’s crude oil needs while speaking at the NNPC’s headquarters in Abuja  during a visit by the Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Abhay Thakur.

Kyari was confident of Nigeria’s support towards India’s energy security, with sustained efforts to strengthen the bilateral relations between both countries by agreeing to the clauses in the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with regards to energy.

“We are ready to have a robust engagement with the Indian trade team to provide a win-win energy scenario between us,” he said.

“Every trade opportunity that is available will be fully explored.”

India has replaced the United States as Nigeria’s top energy importer.

SBM Intel, an organisation dedicated to the collection and analysis of information, hinted in its 2019 energy analysis that Nigeria’s government is without a clearly defined strategy in its relationship with its economic allies which would make the country an economic liability rather than an asset.

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“Fifteen years ago, the United States, US, was a top destination for Nigeria’s crude oil exports until it developed its shale oil production, today they barely buy anything from Nigeria, and India has replaced the US as Nigeria’s top energy importer.

“The energy market is competitive, Nigeria sells its petroleum without a clear strategy to make its top suppliers dependent on its petroleum exports. India and China are currently Nigeria’s most important trading partners. India for exports and China for imports, and there is sufficient room for growth in these relationships,” the report noted.

The NNPC boss, stated that India was a strategic market and NNPC would ensure that the current volume of crude oil supply from Nigeria to the country is secured for the collective interest of both parties.

He also noted that there were lots of untapped investment opportunities in the nation’s Liquefied Petroleum Gas and expressed the willingness of the NNPC to aggressively improve LPG infrastructure and consumption across the country.

The Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria thanked the management of the corporation for the recent renewal of the crude oil term contracts for three Indian companies and called for increment in the crude oil supply in view of the increasing energy needs of India.

Indian state-owned refiners tend to buy most of their crude on term contracts while their remaining requirements are sought via tenders.

However, the companies are Indian Oil Corporation, IOC,  Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd and Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd.

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Thakur said India was ready to provide credit line mechanisms and expertise to help NNPC revamp its widespread infrastructure across the country.

“India is prepared to offer Nigeria, and particularly the NNPC, a credit line mechanism to help her in the areas of refinery maintenance, construction, security, surveillance and anything possible,” he said.

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Amos Abba is a journalist with the International Center for Investigative Reporting, ICIR, who believes that courageous investigative reporting is the key to social justice and accountability in the society.

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