Nigeria will send a high-level delegation to North Korea to discuss attracting investment in Nigerian energy and natural gas, President Umaru Yar’Adua has said.
Nigeria is the fifth largest oil supplier to the United States and an ally of Washington, but it also maintains warm relations with the secretive Stalinist state as a fellow member of the Non-Aligned Movement.
“I will direct the minister of state for energy to visit your country for discussions on energy and gas, a sector where we have an emergency,” Yar’Adua told the outgoing North Korean ambassador to Nigeria, King Pyong Gi, on Tuesday.
Yar’Adua, who took office in May, intends to declare a state of emergency in energy and power to accelerate development of the sector, which has been mismanaged and starved of investment for decades.
Yar’Adua promised to encourage high-level visits between the two countries, the state-run News Agency of Nigeria said.
In 2004 North Korea, which tested a nuclear device for the first time in October 2006, offered to share missile technology with Nigeria as part of a wide-ranging military cooperation agreement. It is unclear if it went ahead after Washington opposed it.
Ambassador Pyong expressed North Korea’s support for Nigeria’s bid for a permanent seat at the U.N. Security Council, the agency said.