US and Nigeria collaborate on energy expansion

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Nigeria and the US have agreed to expand cooperation in natural gas production with the US offering to provide technical assistance in energy as outlined in the Nigerian government master plan, a statement from the Public Affairs section of the US Consulate General said Friday.

The agreement was reached when the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Robin Sanders, met with the Nigerian Minister of State for Gas, Chief Emmanuel Odusina.

Under the agreement, the technical assistance will be provided by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) through the newly-launched US Presidential initiative called the African Infrastructure Programme (AIP) for Sub-Saharan Africa.

AIP is part of a US$ 200 million, five-year US Presidential African Global Competitiveness Initiative. It seeks to expand trade between Nigeria and the US and other trade partners, particularly in the energy sector.

The US government cooperation in this area will begin in October 2008 in conjunction with the World Bank, the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development and the Ministry of Gas and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.

US government-funded technical experts will collaborate with the Nigerian government to find practical market-based approaches to work with the private sector to reduce the level of flared gas and further develop the gas sector.

This effort is in line with the US government policy goals of supporting Economic Growth and Investing in People, which are connected to and support President Yar’Adua Seven-Point Agenda, including the expansion of electricity power supplies.

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