German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, during his two-nation visit to sub-Saharan Africa, expressed Germany’s readiness to invest in gas and critical minerals in Nigeria, the continent’s leading oil producer. This marks Scholz’s third visit to the region within two years, underscoring the region’s growing significance as a resource-rich area, despite Germany’s historical limited involvement.
Speaking at a joint briefing with Nigerian President Bola Tinubu in Abuja, Scholz emphasized the eagerness to invest in critical minerals. Regarding the gas sector, he commended Nigeria’s efforts to expand its liquefied natural gas (LNG) capacity, and he indicated that the prospect of successful gas export could pave the way for German companies to engage in private business ventures in this sector.
Tinubu reported that they engaged in a substantive discussion on the gas issue and encouraged German enterprises to consider investments in Nigerian pipelines. Nigeria is also actively seeking to attract investors to its underdeveloped mining sector, which currently contributes less than 1% to the country’s gross domestic product.
Scholz hinted at German companies expressing interest in constructing railways in Nigeria, although specific details were not provided. It’s noteworthy that the railway sector in Nigeria is currently dominated by Chinese firms, which have secured contracts for expanding rail infrastructure in Africa’s largest economy.
During his visit, Scholz met with the president of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) regional group and stressed the necessity of collaboration with the bloc to prevent the trend of military coups, following recent coups in Niger and Gabon.