The Working Group on Energy and Investment of the U.S.-Nigeria Binational Commission met in Washington, DC on June 10-11, 2010. The meeting was co-chaired by the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources of Nigeria Elizabeth B.P. Emuren, and the U.S. Department of State Coordinator for International Energy Affairs David Goldwyn. The Nigerian participants included officials from the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Federal Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Federal Ministry of Power, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Power Holding Company of Nigeria, Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, and Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission. The U.S. delegation included officials from the Department of State, Department of Energy, Department of Commerce, Treasury Department, U.S. Agency for International Development, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and the U.S. Trade and Development Agency.
Recognizing the importance of the power sector to the economic growth of Nigeria as well as to its overall progress and prosperity, the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the United States Government reiterated their commitment to continued cooperation in the reform, management and performance of the sector, particularly in the areas of power generation, transmission and distribution. Both countries noted that the reform of the energy sector is crucial to attracting needed investment and in order to promote sustainable development.
The Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria welcomed the renewed commitment of the United States Government to provide assistance to attract investment in the power sector, especially from the private sector.
The Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria reaffirmed its commitment to improving its hydrocarbon sector by implementing appropriate policies and regulations to increase the production and utilization of petroleum resources, gas availability to domestic markets, funding, and technology acquisition that is cost-effective and environmentally-friendly.
The United States Government supports the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria’s desire to reform its hydrocarbon sector, recognizing that there is still work to be done on the transition of major reforms and the need for transparency and further consultation with stakeholders to ensure that reforms are successful. The Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria assured the United States Government that the reforms will be implemented consistent with World Trade Organization regulations.
Both countries recognize the importance of advancing renewable energy opportunities in Nigeria. To this end, the Governments of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the United States of America renewed their commitments to advance renewable energy in Nigeria and the U.S. Trade and Development Agency provided a grant to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission to fund technical assistance on the proposed Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Framework in Nigeria. The Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has pledged to provide support to facilitate the successful completion of the framework. The Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria also welcomed a future visit to Nigeria by the Department of Energy’s Under Secretary Dr. Kristina Johnston to further explore renewable energy and energy efficiency opportunities.
The United States Government called on the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to optimize the opportunities provided by the African Growth Opportunities Act and the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement to encourage the country’s non-oil exports into the U.S. market. Both countries discussed the possibility of negotiating a Bilateral Investment Treaty for the promotion and protection of investment in their respective countries.
Both countries plan to meet in the fall of 2010 in Washington, DC to launch the Niger Delta and Regional Security Cooperation Working Group of the U.S.-Nigeria Binational Commission.David Goldwyn