Spain continues its strategy of strengthening relations with its main gas suppliers, in a scenario of energy crisis due to the war in Ukraine. And in a context of “aggressive” approaches, as defined by the Government, from European countries to these supplier countries. A few weeks ago it was the emir of Qatar who visited Spain. This Thursday it was the president of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, who made a state visit. The objective and what was signed: reinforce the energy supply.

Nigeria is a vital gas supplier for Spain. According to data from Enagás, in 2021 it was the third country from which we bought the most gas (11.4%), only behind Algeria (42.7%) and the US (14.2%). In addition, the US and Nigeria were the countries from which the largest number of shipments have been received, a total of 64 and 51 methane tankers, respectively. This context explains the reception given to Buhari, appointment and lunch with the King and appointment in La Moncloa. Although without as much pomposity as the emir of Qatar.

Both countries have signed a joint declaration and various agreements on economic and commercial matters, the energy sector, the fight against terrorism, cooperation in the field of migration and maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea. During their meeting, Sánchez conveyed to the President of Nigeria his status as a “reliable and trustworthy strategic partner”, as well as the “interest” of Spanish companies in the energy sector in “continuing to commit to Nigeria” in order to seek agreements that ensure a stable supply on a lasting basis”.

Nigeria has also expressed its desire to deepen Spanish investment in its country. To this end, during this State visit, a Business Forum is held for companies from both countries to consider investment opportunities. An appointment to expose investment opportunities in Nigeria and ways to expand the volume of trade, said Femi Adesina, spokesman for the Nigerian Government, before the visit.

The importance that the African country attaches to this visit is reflected in the delegation that accompanies Buhari, in what is the first visit to Spain by a Nigerian head of state in the last 17 years. Together with the president of Nigeria, they have traveled to Spain up to a dozen senior officials, including foreign ministers; Justice; Industry, Commerce and Investments; Inside; Information and Culture; Health and Youth and Sports Development.

This will to strengthen the energy supply has been reflected in the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding to promote, support and facilitate cooperation in general and, especially, in the following sectors: agriculture and agro-technologies, renewable energies, environmental and clean technologies , advanced manufacturing and industry 4.0, sustainable tourism, digital economy and innovation.

In the area of ​​migratory cooperation, another issue of considerable concern to the Government of Spain, both countries undertake to strengthen bilateral cooperation, as well as their contribution to regional migratory dialogues, especially in the field of the Rabat Process, whose presidency Spain holds during 2022. In this framework, both countries will co-chair the high-level meeting on legal migration that will take place next September.

Sánchez and Buhari recalled that Spain and Nigeria support the objectives of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration and have renewed their commitment to maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea, where they have commented on the reduction in the number of pirate attacks. The objective is to continue working to strengthen this trend.

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