Nigeria, Spain governments pledge to strengthen trade ties


NIGERIAN government and its Spanish counterpart, on Thursday, expressed their readiness to strengthen their bilateral trade relationships in every spectrum of the Oil and Gas Industry for the benefit of the two countries.

The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr Maikanti Kachalla Baru, announced this, while receiving the Spanish Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Alfonso Barnuevo, to the NNPC Towers, Abuja.

According to him, NNPC as an integrated Oil and Gas company is currently undergoing transformation which includes increasing the corporation’s refining capacity.

In a statement signed by its Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Garba Deen Muhammad, a copy of which was made available to Tribune Online in Abuja, said the corporation would work closely with the Spanish National Oil Company, REPSOL to improve the technical capacities of the refineries.

“As you know, we have challenges with our refineries and with REPSOL refining about 900,000 barrels of crude oil per day; we can collaborate on that, going forward. While we are fixing our refineries, we also have the opportunity to bring in more petroleum products into the country to meet our domestic needs,” he stated.

He stated that the corporation was partnering well with some Spanish companies in the area of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) also known as cooking gas.

The GMD also expressed NNPC’s desire to boost safer energy utilisation in the country through promoting LPG consumption.

He stated that the NNPC was also working on the Trans Sahara Gas Pipeline Project and would rely on the technical support of some Spanish companies towards addressing the challenges of gas supply.

Earlier, Ambassador Barnuevo said Nigeria and Spain have an established cordial relationship dating back to over three decades.

According to him, “this visit is to further strengthen these good ties between our nations and in particular, between NNPC and REPSOL. Spain is Nigeria’s 2nd best client in the area of oil and gas. The country currently buys about 4.6billion Euros worth of oil and gas from Nigeria”.

He explained that in the first quarter of 2015, Spain represents nine per cent of the total export from Nigeria, pointing out that, “therefore, NNPC and REPSOL will benefit tremendously from sustaining this collaboration”.