Nigeria, Spain To Cooperate In Energy, Oil And Gas Sectors


Spain and Nigeria Tuesday agreed to cooperate in the are as of energy, oil and gas, as Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero formally began a state visit to Nigeria, the first ever by a Spanish leader.

After bilateral talks with host President Umaru Yar'Adua at the Presidential Villa in the capital city of Abuja, the visiting Prime Minister said the restructuring of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) was necessary to accommodate Nigeria in the body.

Mr. Zapatero said he expected his three-day visit to enhance the presence of Spanish companies in Nigeria.

Speaking after the talks, he said: “We have talked about energy and of course, oil and gas. But also, we have talked a great deal about renewable energy. We have talked about the potential that Nigeria has, the future ahead of it - infrastructures, rail infrastructures, water treat ment and a potential of enhancing the presence of Spanish companies here in these sectors working along with Nigerian companies.

“And also we have talked about the international order. We have talked about peace. We have talked about security. We have talked about that, from an African perspective and also from a worldwide perspective. Spain, of course, has peaceke eping operations in Africa and in other places. Nigeria, for example, participates as well in UN peacekeeping operations. It is a great contributor.

''This brings me to what the Nigerian President said and I think is very important thing. We have talked about security, the reform of the Security Council in the UN. President Yar'Adua said 30 per cent of all the matters that the UN Security Coun cil deals with in its daily work concerns Africa. But nevertheless, no African country is represented in the UN Security Council. That is a reality that has to change. It needs to change. Nigeria plays a role of leadership and Spain will be workin g for the change in Security Council and will correct this injustice that does not represent what Nigeria does and the way it has been in the continent,” Mr. Zapatero said

The Spanish Prime Minister arrived in Nigeria on Monday so he could attend a special ECOWAS-Spanish summit which was held on Monday evening, after the 36th ECOWAS summit in the Nigerian capital city.

As part of decisions reached at the special summit, Spain pledged to donate 262 million euros to strengthen regional integration in West Africa.


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