Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Canadian Deputy Prime Minister, Chrystia Freeland, have agreed on the need to deepen bilateral relations between both countries as part of efforts to improve trade, educational collaboration and continuing dialogue on global energy transition issues and climate change.
This form the crux of a meeting between the leaders which was held in Ottawa, the capital of the North American country on Monday during which Osinbajo told top Canadian parliamentarians, including cabinet members led by Freeland that Nigeria was hoping for much more that both countries can achieve together.
During the meeting, both leaders also discussed the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), observing that the market provided opportunities for mutual benefits, not only for African countries but also Canada, which is desirous of contributing to its development and also tapping into the continental market.
The Canadian Deputy Prime Minister, who doubles as the nation’s Finance Minister, had, earlier, expressed similar sentiments while welcoming the Vice President. She observed that the Canadian government values its relationship with Africa, especially Nigeria.
“And we have been “looking forward to this visit for a long time because the relationship with Nigeria is “very important to us,” she said.
Reacting to the global net zero emissions targets and energy transition, Osinbajo reaffirmed the view that gas ought to be adopted as a transition fuel, a notion he said garnered traction at the recent COP27 conference in Egypt, even though still widely unacknowledged in the West.
While explaining that the Federal Government’s Energy Transition Plan is focused on renewable energy, including the ongoing Solar Power Naija Programme, which was launched under the Economic Sustainability Plan, Osinbajo said, “We believe we must use our gas as transition fuel; we have huge gas reserves. We would like to continue to use our gas during the transition,”.
In her response, Freeland, who wondered whether countries, such as Nigeria, are already struggling to get financing for gas projects, said: “We will be happy to keep talking with you on that,” adding that the use of natural gas makes sense.
Story was adapted from the Guardian.