The volume of trade between Nigeria and Austria currently stands at $255 million and both countries have announced plans to increase and strengthen trade ties.
The two countries pointed out the need to explore investible areas, noting that there are lots of trade opportunities Nigeria and Austria can achieve working closely.
At a cocktail dinner to introduce new investment and technology transfer opportunities in Lagos, the Commercial Counselor of the Austrian Embassy, Guido Stock said the trade relationship between both countries is heavily in favour of Nigeria due to Austria’s high dependence of crude oil import from Nigeria.
According to Stock, “the volume of trade between both countries fluctuates a lot because it depends on how much oil we buy on yearly basis from Nigeria. Export wise from Austria to Nigeria is about $55 million while from Nigeria, we import $200 million of crude oil”.
On the matter of investment and technology, the Commercial Counselor explained that if well implemented, the initiative will help Nigeria manage its energy usage while also reducing the level of accidents on Nigerian roads.
Stock said “we have two projects; one is the usage of gas as a power source for vehicles, this will drastically reduce the nation’s dependence on diesel, reduce emissions because gas is much cleaner than diesel while also saving foreign exchange and protecting the environment”.
The General Manager of Powergas, Sumeet Singh, who reiterated the company’s commitment to positively contributing to clean environment, especially in Nigeria, said “the project is already being implemented, but I hope we gain speed. The second project is the drivers’ training. We are looking at ways of training drivers for safety in a bid to reduce the rate of accidents on Nigerian roads”.
Singh revealed that Nigeria’s yearly diesel importation is the same as the Natural Gas being flared. He said “we know that diesel imports are US Dollar dependent, hence increasing the cost of fuel and decreasing the country’s scarce forex reserves”.
Singh noted that if all of Nigeria’s flared gas is captured and processed, it can power up to 200,000 city buses ) or 200,000 trucks or even double Nigeria’s power generation capacity, while significantly improving the quality of the air.