President Muhammadu Buhari will depart Abuja on Friday to participate in the 5th Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) Summit in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.
According to a statement issued by on Thursday in Abuja by Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media & Publicity), apart from President Buhari, the one-day meeting will be attended by leaders of major gas-producing nations of the world namely, Algeria, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Libya, Bolivia, Iran, Qatar, Russia, Trinidad and Tobago, United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, Kazakhstan and Norway, whose countries account for 70 per cent and 80 per cent of global gas reserves and production respectively.
The statement explained that the idea of the GECF was first mooted in 2001 when the First Ministerial Meeting held in Tehran, Iran, while the First GECF otherwise called Gas Summit, took place in Doha, Qatar in 2011 with Nigeria represented at the highest level.
The statement recalled that on November 19, 2019, President Buhari had received Mr Gabriel Mbega Obiang Lima, the Special Envoy of President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, who brought a special invitation to the Nigerian leader to attend the 5th Gas Summit as well as thanking Nigeria for her support towards the hosting.
According to the statement, during that visit, the President had noted that: “Nigeria is more of a gas-producing rather than an oil-producing country. That fact had long been established. If we had followed our plans laid out in the 1970s for the gas sector, we should have had 12 trains by early 1980s, instead of being on just six trains,” of exporting Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG).
“The Nigerian delegation will also use the opportunity to discuss current trends in the global gas market, potential policies for the energy sector and opportunities for collaboration.
“At the end of the 5th Gas Summit, the Malabo Declaration is expected to be adopted.
“President Buhari will be accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva; Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite; and the Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kolo Kyari.”
The statement also announced that after the Summit, President Buhari will head for Daura, Katsina state on a five-day official visit.