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Business News of Monday, 14 March 2022


How Nigeria can take advantage of the Russia-Ukraine war – LCCI President

Dr Michael Olawale Cole Dr Michael Olawale Cole

The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has urged the Federal Government to explore exporting more gas to Europe.

This was disclosed by Dr Michael Olawale-Cole, the LCCI’s president, in a statement issued in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Nigeria, according to Olawale-Cole, should have reaped the benefits of the war in sectors such as gas delivery to Europe. This, he claimed, was due to sanctions imposed on Russia as a result of its invasion of Ukraine.

What you should know

Europe, the single-largest buyer of Russian energy, is weighing the likelihood of gas-supply disruptions as the war with Ukraine continues.

The continent, which is dependent on Russia for about 30% of the gas it consumes, is trying to reduce that reliance by tapping new supplies, improving efficiency and using more renewables.

Crude and natural gas have rallied amid concerns of Russian supply cutoffs. Oil reached the highest level since 2008, while European gas prices set historic records..
The United States has banned imports of Russian oil and other fossil fuels, a move that sent prices of commodities from energy to metals to grains surging.

What LCCI is saying

The LCCI President asked the Federal Government to complete projects such as the planned Trans-Saharan Gas Pipeline between Nigeria and Algeria as soon as possible.

Olawale-Cole said, “With this, we can explore the opportunity of exporting gas to Europe. We should also target Trans-Saharan and European markets with the ongoing construction of the Ajaokuta, Kaduna, Kano Gas Pipeline, popularly known as AKK gas pipeline.

“Arising from the calamities of this war, Nigeria can explore emerging opportunities to earn huge foreign exchange inflow in the medium to long-term.”

He also demanded that the government release its reserves in order to increase grain supply and stabilize wheat prices in the short term.

Alternatively, he suggests that the government intervenes by launching imports from sources other than combat zones.

“The war between Ukraine and Russia will likely make the world’s hunger crisis even tougher to fight as the countries are two of the world’s major suppliers of grains like wheat.

“Nigeria’s food supply will surely come under some pressure as it imported 4 per cent of wheat from Ukraine and 27 per cent of wheat from Russia in 2021.

“However, the most sustainable solution is for the government to boost local production of these grains to levels that meet local demand,” he said.

He urged the federal government to use diplomacy to reach out to well-intentioned world leaders in order to resolve the problem quickly. This, he explained, was because the length of the battle was a key factor in deciding the amount of damage that could be done.

The LCCI President also emphasized the importance of stepping up efforts to expedite Nigerians’ escape from the war-torn zone.

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