Big local investors are rubbing their hands gleefully in anticipation of opportunities in oil refinery should President Ian Khama manage to seal the crude oil importation deal with Nigeria.
Telegraph investigations can reveal that Botswana and Nigeria are finalising a deal that will ensure supply of crude oil to Botswana. If sealed, the supply will be done through the Walvis Bay route.
The Office of the President issued a press statement this week that Khama will depart for Abuja, Nigeria today (16/8/11) “for a working visit, as part of a three day diplomatic tour that will also involve working visits to Accra, Ghana and Monrovia Liberia.”
“In each of the three capitals H.E. President Khama will be hosted and hold bilateral discussions with fellow Heads of State: H.E. President Goodluck Jonathan of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; H.E. Prof. John Atta Mills of the Republic of Ghana and H.E. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of the Republic of Liberia.”
According to information passed to The Telegraph, the crude oil deal between Botswana and Nigeria is expected to top bilateral talks between Khama and President Jonathan.
Nigeria’s High Commissioner to Botswana, Ambassador Okubotin Charles Cocodia, has been quoted in the Nigerian media expressing optimism that discussions on crude oil and gas importation between the two countries would bear fruit.
He also appealed for private sector participation in the construction of a refinery that could be built in either of the two countries. ┬á
Botswana experienced one of its worst fuel shortages in history at the end of last year due to a fuel pipeline burst in South Africa, the major source of its petroleum products.
This led the country to negotiate alternative suppliers and routes with Nigeria, Mozambique and Namibia.
The Nigerian deal is also expected to open investment opportunities in the construction of an oil pipeline between Botswana and Namibia.