Nigeria, EU to work together on digital economy, explore raising LNG supply to European countries

* It’s a relief EU supports gas as transition fuel – VP

*EU announces 820m-Euro Digital Economy Package for Nigeria

It is a relief that the European Union (EU) supports the view canvassed by Nigeria that gas be considered a transition fuel as the global community moves towards net-zero emissions targets.

Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, said this while receiving at the Presidential Villa last night, a delegation of the European Commission led by its Executive Vice-President, Margrethe Vestager, who is currently on a visit to the country.

According to Prof. Osinbajo, “we are relieved to hear of the EU’s support on gas as a transition fuel. It’s some bit of relief.” Nigeria has been in the forefront of the international advocacy on the issue and the Vice President has spoken and written about it in different international forums.

Issues discussed at the meeting included the use of Digital Technology, Trade and Investment. The importance of the energy relationship between Nigeria and the EU also featured, while a consideration of all options for increased supply of Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) from Nigeria to the EU was agreed to, following a request from the EU. A technical meeting on this will be convened shortly.

The European Commission’s Executive VP informed Prof. Osinbajo on the announcement by President of the Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, of a Global Gateway Africa-Europe Investment Package worth €150 billion.

In that context, she announced an EU-Nigeria Digital Economy Package of at least €820 million until 2024. The package will help enhance secure connectivity, digitalise public services, support entrepreneurship and build digital skills, while developing a human-centric, democratic governance framework for technology.

Welcoming on the EU Digital Economy support, which the Vice President Osinbajo described as impressive, he noted that the use of Digital Technology is crucial in Nigeria’s recently released National Development Plan.

Finally, the importance of a renewed Nigeria-EU partnership was noted during the meeting, including expectations for a successful EU-AU (European Union – African Union) Summit in Brussels later this week, specifically on the 17th-18th of February.

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