Abuja — President Muhammadu Buhari, will depart Abuja today, to participate in the 5th Gas Exporting Countries Forum, (GECF), Summit in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea. After the Summit, President Buhari will head for Daura, Katsina State on a five-day official visit.
A statement from the State House disclosed that the President will be accompanied on the one-day trip by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; Minister of State for Niger Delta, Timipre Sylva; Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite; and the Group Managing Director, NNPC, Mele Kolo Kyari.
The Nigerian delegation will also use the opportunity to discuss current trends in the global gas market, potential policies for the energy sector and opportunities for collaboration.
The meeting will be attended by the countries, which are the leading gas producing nations of the world, and which account for 70 and 80 per cent of global gas reserves and production, respectively.
They include Algeria, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Libya, Bolivia, Iran, Qatar, Russia, Trinidad and Tobago, United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, Kazakhstan, Nigeria and Norway.
The GECF was first mooted in 2001in Tehran, Iran, during the First Ministerial Meeting, while the First GECF otherwise called Gas Summit, took place in Doha, Qatar in 2011.
Nigeria was represented at the highest level.
Incidentally, the Fifth Gas Summit in Malabo marks the first time the biennial meeting will be hosted in Africa.
President Buhari attended the Third Gas Summit in Tehran in November 2015.
On November 19, 2019, the Special Envoy of President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo- Mr. Gabriel Mbega Obiang Lima- was hosted by President Buhari, when he brought a special invitation to the Nigerian leader to attend the 5th Gas Summit as well as thanking Nigeria for her support towards the hosting.
The Malabo Summit provides a veritable platform for Buhari to reaffirm Nigeria's commitment to the broad objectives of the GECF which among others, seek to "support the sovereign rights of member countries over their natural gas resources and their ability to independently plan and manage the sustainable, efficient and environmentally-conscious development, use and conservation of natural gas resources for the benefit of their people.