Nigeria and Dubai have signed a preliminary agreement worth $16 billion (Dh58.7bn) to develop oil and gas infrastructure in Africa's top crude producer, officials said yesterday.
The deal will see Dubai World Corporation (DWC) wholly-owned by the government of Dubai, investing in projects in the restive Niger Delta, Africa's oil and gas heartland, which accounts for nearly all of Nigeria's around two million barrels of crude per day.
Nigeria's Justice Minister Michael Aondoakaa and Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Dubai World Chairman signed the agreement on behalf of their governments on Thursday in the Nigerian capital Abuja.
The agreement also covers investment in the real estate sector, agriculture, power and mining, the newspaper report said.
Under the agreement, Dubai Natural Resources World (DNRW), a Dubai World unit launched in September last, will manage the potential development and production of crude oil and gas reserves through a variety of means including the acceleration of upstream oil and gas assets and the development of gas utilisation projects. DNRW and its affiliates are responsible for investing, developing and managing investments in natural resources within the developing world.
DNRW plans to operate through its oil and gas joint venture to assist in the development of these upstream assets in Nigeria, a member of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, holds Africa's second-largest oil reserves and presently pumps about 1.9 million barrels a day of crude.
"This historic agreement consolidates Dubai World's strategy of tapping new business sectors leveraging the expertise of the group's various companies to make sound, strategic, long-term investments in the field of energy and natural resources," Bin Sulayem said in a statement.
"Nigeria is a land of considerable opportunity and it is entirely appropriate that Dubai World will partner with the Government of Nigeria to help harness this enormous potential over time," he said.
Commenting on the role of Dubai Natural Resources World, Abdul Wahid Al Ulama, DNRW Vice-Chairman said: "We are tasked with building a diversified portfolio of investments in companies and assets related to natural resources located in developing markets. It is extremely exciting we will be involved directly in the oil and gas aspects of this landmark co-operation agreement."