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Commerce tops the agenda as Germany’s Scholz meets Nigerian chief on West Africa journey

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ABUJA, Nigeria — German Chancellor Olaf Scholz met with Nigerian President Bola Tinubu on Sunday to debate commerce and funding alternatives throughout a West Africa tour, because the European nation appears to diversify its commerce companions and develop financial partnerships within the energy-rich area.

In his third journey to Africa since he took workplace in 2021, and his second this yr, Scholz pushed for additional growth of Nigeria’s capability to fulfill native wants at the same time as Germany seeks improved commerce relations with its second-largest buying and selling accomplice in sub-Saharan Africa. Germany-Nigeria commerce quantity is estimated to be about 3 billion euros yearly.

Main features of the 2 international locations’ cooperation embody working with Nigeria to assist sort out regional and international points resembling migration, safety and rampant coups in West and Central Africa, Scholz informed Tinubu throughout their assembly within the capital of Abuja.

“There are a variety of probabilities not simply from fuel and oil … however for higher utilizing the capacities of your nation, but in addition for going into investments for the longer term, which is about hydrogen,” mentioned Scholz. Specialists have described Africa as a possible exporter of hydrogen vitality amid requires vitality transition.

The German chief, who has come below monumental home strain to deal with points associated to migration to Germany, prompt “co-management (of the difficulty) which is benefiting the 2 international locations the perfect.”

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A framework can be being developed with the European Union to enhance migration and guarantee amongst different issues that “those that don’t have any the correct to remain in my nation can return and may return and that is a part of one thing that could be a win win story for the 2 international locations,” Scholz mentioned.

Earlier than his assembly with Tinubu, Scholz informed Lagos-based Punch newspaper that Germany has a “appreciable demand for pure fuel” and “concrete quantities” of provides must be agreed on in negotiations between Nigerian fuel producers and German fuel merchants.

Nigeria has Africa’s largest confirmed fuel reserves — estimated to be 202 trillion cubic ft — and has been eager on working towards serving to meet Europe’s wants after Russia sharply lowered pure fuel flows following its struggle with Ukraine. Germany, although, has diversified its fuel provides from Russia for the reason that struggle.

The Nigerian chief mentioned he had a “very deep dialogue” on fuel investments with the German chancellor and sought Germany’s help in serving to to deal with the nation’s safety and financial challenges.

“Nigeria continues to be crawling, however we’re decided to alter the narrative and produce a couple of transformative authorities within the nation,” Tinubu mentioned. “We nonetheless want very a lot help in that space. And for us to have the ability to maintain democracy, rule of regulation and freedom for our folks, we have to struggle for democracy.

Scholz additionally met with Omar Alieu Touray, the president of the ECOWAS Fee, West Africa’s regional bloc, and so they mentioned the way to deal with the current coups in elements of Africa. On Monday, he’ll open a German-Nigerian enterprise discussion board within the financial hub of Lagos earlier than heading to Ghana the place he’ll finish his journey on Tuesday.


Related Press author Geir Moulson in Berlin contributed.

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