Finland has expressed interest in tapping into Nigeria’s huge gas fields, saying it is looking for ways to diversify its energy sources.
This followed the decision of European Union member countries to end their dependence on Russian gas and seek alternative gas suppliers after Russia invaded Ukraine.
Revealing this during an interview with reporters in Helsinki on Thursday, Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto said his country was also interested in exploring the education sector as well as renewable energy and other opportunities. economics in Nigeria and other African countries.
Haavisto, who hosted the North Africa high-level ministerial meeting attended by several African countries, also explained that he had discussions with his Nigerian counterpart, Geoffrey Onyeama, on youth education, employment and economic development.
Responding to a question from The punch on the EU plan to get gas from Nigeria, the Minister said: “We had the visit of the Nigerian Foreign Minister to Finland and other African Foreign Ministers and we had bilateral discussions on energy, oil and gas as well as the environmental impact of oil production. We also discussed the issue of radicalization – Boko Haram in Nigeria and ECOWAS and regional security.
The minister commended African countries, including the African Union, for unanimously condemning the ongoing war in Ukraine, noting that the war had changed the security situation in Europe.
According to him, Finland’s decision to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization has garnered massive public support, adding that more than 75 percent of Finns support the decision.
Haavisto defended his country’s decision to join NATO, saying it was not from a military perspective.
He added: “For us, we have been, for a long time, outside military alliances, but the Russian attack on Ukraine has triggered in Finland a very strong solidarity towards Ukraine.
“We see that our neighbor Russia, unfortunately, is more unpredictable. We recognize some of the risks, the threat of weapons of mass destruction and chemical weapons, where our own defense is not as complete. So we decided to send our candidacy to NATO.