German Chancellor Olaf Scholz held discussions with Nigerian President Bola Tinubu during his West Africa tour, emphasizing trade and investment prospects. This visit reflects Germany's interest in diversifying its trade partners and expanding economic collaborations in the resource-rich West African region.
During their meeting in the capital city of Abuja, Scholz emphasized the need to enhance Nigeria's capacity to meet local demands while fostering improved trade relations with Germany, Nigeria's second-largest trading partner in sub-Saharan Africa. The annual trade volume between Germany and Nigeria is estimated to be around 3 billion euros.
Key areas of cooperation between the two countries include addressing regional and global challenges such as migration, security issues, and political instability in West and Central Africa. Scholz highlighted the potential for collaboration not only in the oil and gas sector but also in emerging areas like hydrogen energy, where Africa is seen as a potential exporter amid the global energy transition.
Scholz, facing domestic pressure to address migration-related concerns in Germany, proposed a "co-management" approach to migration, emphasizing mutually beneficial solutions for both countries.
Additionally, discussions are underway with the European Union to enhance migration policies, including facilitating the return of individuals who do not have the right to stay in Germany. This approach aims to create a win-win situation for both nations.
Before meeting with President Tinubu, Scholz expressed Germany's considerable demand for natural gas, indicating the potential for negotiated agreements between Nigerian gas producers and German gas traders.
Nigeria boasts the largest proven gas reserves in Africa, estimated at 202 trillion cubic feet. The country has shown interest in collaborating with Europe to meet its energy needs, particularly following disruptions in natural gas supplies from Russia.
President Tinubu stressed the importance of German support in addressing Nigeria's security and economic challenges. He emphasized Nigeria's commitment to achieving transformative governance and sustaining democracy, the rule of law, and freedom.
During his West Africa tour, Chancellor Scholz also met with Omar Alieu Touray, President of the ECOWAS Commission, to discuss strategies for addressing recent coups in various parts of Africa.
As part of his visit, Scholz will inaugurate a German-Nigerian business forum in Lagos, the economic hub of Nigeria, before concluding his trip in Ghana on Tuesday. This visit underscores Germany's efforts to strengthen ties and explore economic opportunities in West Africa.