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Finally, Algeria, Niger, Nigeria, sign MoU to build gas pipeline across Sahara desert

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In joint effort that is expected to strengthen ties across the Sahara, Algeria, Nigeria and Niger have signed a memorandum of understanding to build a natural gas pipeline across the Sahara desert.

Algeria’s energy minister, Mohamed Arkab made the disclosure said on Thursday.

News broke in June that the governments of the three countries held talks to revive a gas pipeline project across the Sahara which had been put on hold for over 40 years, with the potential opportunity for Europe to diversify its gas sources as the world faces a short fall as a result of the Russian-Ukraine war.

The pipeline, which is an estimated $13 billion project is expected to span around 4,000 kilometers.

It has been slated to start in Warri, Nigeria, and to end in Hassi R’Mel, Algeria, where it would connect to existing pipelines that run to Europe.

With Europe looking for alternate sources of gas amidst the Russia/Ukraine crisis, the trans-Saharan gas pipeline could send up to 30 billion cubic metres a year of supplies to Europe.

The deal when completed will mean much to Algeria who exported 54 billion cubic meters of gas in 2021, mainly to Italy and Spain. And Nigeria whose large quality gas is flared.

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Nigeria climbs to fourth position on World Bank’s list of most indebted nations

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Nigeria has moved into the fourth position of World Bank’s list of countries with the highest debts, according to the Bank’s financisl report released on Monday.

Going by the World Bank Fiscal Year 2022 audited financial statements for International Development Association (IDA), Nigeria now owes a debt stock of $13bn as at June 30, 2022.

The country also moved up one spot from the fifth position it was rated as of June 30, 2021, with an IDA debt stock of $11.7bn.

The global bank also revealed in its audited financial statements that Nigeria has accumulated about $1.3bn IDA debt within a fiscal year, adding that the debt is different from the outstanding loan of $486m from the World Bank’s International Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

What this means is that Nigeria now has the highest IDA debt in Africa, and is only bettered by the likes India with $19.7bn debt, Bangladesh, $18bn
and Pakistan, $15.8bn, all from the Asian bloc.

The Washington-based international Financial Institution also disclosed that Nigeria’s debt which may be considered sustainable for now, is fast growing into a state of vulnerability and could become costly.

“Nigeria’s debt remains sustainable, albeit vulnerable and costly, especially due to large and growing financing from the Central Bank of Nigeria,” it said.

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Nigerian president, Buhari, finally grants approval for Exxon unit acquisition by Seplat

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Nigeria’s president, who doubles as minister for petroleum, Muhammadu Buhari has granted consent to the acquisition of Exxon Mobil’s Nigerian unit by Seplat Energy.

The approval of the $1.28 billion deal was announced in a statement by the presidency on Monday.

In February, Seplat Energy Plc, unveiled plans to acquire the entire share capital of Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (MPNU) from Exxon Mobil Corporation Delaware (USA Incorporated). That includes all of Exxon’s entire shallow water assets in the Niger Delta.

The oil giants are expected to operate the unit’s oil licenses, supporting Nigeria meet its OPEC production quota in the short term as well as accelerate the development of gas resources in the area.

Nigeria recently launched its state owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) as commercial venture will hope that it oil sector will be finally revolutionized.

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