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EU looks up to Nigeria for increased gas supply as effects of Russia-Ukraine war bites harder

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The Nigerian gas industry is set to receive a massive boost as the European Union (EU) is seeking to strengthen relations with the country for alternative sources of its natural gas imports requirements in an attempt to reduce reliance on Russian energy.

Nigeria which is the fourth biggest liquified natural gas supplier to Europe, exports at least 40% of its gas to European nations and with the ongoing war in Ukraine, the EU is seeking a closer partnership with Nigeria for increased gas supply.

The EU Ambassador in Nigeria, Samuela Isopi, who led other EU diplomats on a visit to the Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari, in Abuja on Monday, said the EU was seeking means of increasing its cooperation with Nigeria in the energy sector.

“We are not only major clients for Nigeria, we are also major partners in the oil and gas sector because some of the companies that are working with you are from Europe. So we share the same interest and same objectives,” Isopi said.

On his part, the Chief Executive of the Nigerian state-owned oil company assured the European delegation that the company was keen on increasing gas supply to the global market, especially now that the country has a proven natural gas reserve of 209.5 trillion cubic feet (TCF).

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Somalia gives foreign banks licence to operate in decades

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The Somali government has announced the licensing of foreign banks for the first time in over two decades six weeks after President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud was sworn into office following an elections that took years to conduct following a lingering political crisis.

The announcement which was made on Monday by the governor of the Central Bank of Somalia (CBS) Abdirahman Mohamed Abdullahi, said the war-ravaged country has granted banking licenses to two foreign institutions to operate in the country after President Mohamoud had promised to open the country to international investment during his campaigns for the elections.

The first foreign banking institutions to benefit from the decision are Egyptian bank, Banque Misr, and Turkish bank, Ziraat Katilim, who have been allowed to operate in Somalia.

“The review of the applications of these two banks has been the subject of a lengthy process of several months.

“These are two strong banks that will add value to the development of Somalia’s financial sector and contribute to the growth of our economy,” the CBS governor said

Ranked one of the poorest countries in the world by the World Bank, the average Somalian lives on less than $1.90 a day as the country struggles to recover from decades civil war and and opening its doors to foreign investments is seen as President Mohamoud fulfilment of his pledge to improve the economic situation and provide basic banking services to the population.

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Egypt Suez Canal announces record $7bn profit in 2021-2022

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The management of the Egyptian Suez Canal has announced a record profit of $7 billion for the 2021-2022 fiscal year, which it said was as a result of repeatedly raising transit fees for ships through the crucial passage for world trade.

The Suez Canal Authority (SCA), said on Monday that between July 2021 and June 2022, about 1.32 billion tonnes of cargo transited through the canal, providing a $7 billion rent in transit fees, which is the highest in the history of the SCA, its Executive Chairman, Admiral Osama Rabie, said.

Rabie added that the Canal was able to increase its profit by 20.7% compared to the previous financial year where it made €5.5 billion.

The Suez Canal handles about 10% of the world’s maritime trade and is one of Cairo’s main sources of foreign currency and despite the war in Ukraine and the rise in the oil price which has affected shipping, the canal also recorded its highest monthly turnover in April, valued at €605 million according to Rabie.

“The international crises have demonstrated the importance of the Suez Canal for the stability of global supply chains,” Rabie said.

He added that the Canal has contributed significantly to the growth of the North African country’s economy which has been caught between inflation of over 15% and a recent devaluation of the pound by nearly 20%, which had increased transit fees for oil and gas shipments by 6% in February and then by 5 to 10% in March.

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