This came as Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Ms. Chrystia Freeland met in Ottawa, the capital of the North American country, on Monday.
During his interaction with top Canadian parliamentarians, including Senators and Cabinet members led by Freeland, Mr. Osinbajo noted that “we look forward to much more that we can do together.”
The Canadian Deputy Prime Minister, who is also the nation’s Finance Minister, previously expressed similar sentiments in welcoming the Vice President.
He noted that the Canadian government values its relationship with Africa, especially Nigeria, and has been “looking forward to this visit for a long time,” adding that the relationship with Nigeria is “very important to us.”
Turning to global net-zero emissions targets and the energy transition, Vice President Osinbajo reaffirmed the view that gas should be adopted as a transition fuel, a notion he said gained traction at the recent COP27 conference in Egypt, although it is still largely unrecognized in the West. .
“We believe that we should use our gas as a transition fuel; We have huge gas reserves. We would like to continue using our gas during the transition,” the vice president said, according to a statement from his spokesperson, Mr. Laolu Akande.
The vice president also explained that the federal government’s Energy Transition Plan focuses on renewable energy, including the ongoing Naija Solar Power Program, which was launched under the Economic Sustainability Plan.
For her part, the Canadian deputy prime minister wondered if countries like Nigeria are already struggling to get financing for gas projects.
She said, “we’ll be happy to continue talking to you about that,” adding that the use of natural gas makes sense and noting that the dialogue needs to continue.
Both presidents exchanged notes on some of the common and peculiar economic challenges of their respective countries, including fiscal and monetary challenges, subsidies, financial inclusion, social investment programs and support strategies for the vulnerable, among others.
They also discussed the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), noting that the market provides opportunities for mutual benefits, not only for African countries but also for Canada, which is contributing to its development and also taking advantage of the continental market.