South Sudan, Africa’s newly mint oil-rich country, but still embroiled in nationhood problems, is looking towards Nigeria to commercialize its huge liquefied natural gas (LNG) project.
With a per capita income of $1,978.433 (a 2014 estimate), the North African major oil-producing country believes it could use Nigeria’s perceived LNG success to drive its natural gas industry in a manner that oil in the ground would become cash in the bank.
Dhieu Mathok, South Sudan’s Minister of Energy and Dams, who visited Rivers State, said in Port Harcourt that “we are intending to commercialize LNG industry in South Sudan. That is why we are looking for the partners who can be able to develop the energy sector in the Republic of South Sudan.”
One of Africa’s biggest oil producers, South Sudan is believed to plan to use their national oil company, Nile Petroleum Corporation (Nilepet) to drive an energy policy that would make its oil revenue to reach those who need it most.
It is said, that 50.6 percent of the country’s population lives below poverty line. From 2010 to 2011, South Sudan’s inflation rate was 46.2 percent.
Mathok commended Rivers governor Nyesom Wike for what he described as “infrastructural development of the state,” which he said they plan to replicate in his country.
“I have never come this way, but what I have seen [in Rivers State] is very amazing. I have seen developmental projects going on. I am very happy with what I have seen in this state. It is really a great thing. There are a lot of development projects in this state; and we like to replicate the same thing in South Sudan,” Mathok said.
He said the infrastructural projects in Rivers was a sign of stability. “This is a sign of stability. You know when there is no stability in a certain state or country, development cannot come up. I will like to commend the governor for the good work that he is doing.”
The minister said there are key developmental projects in Rivers State which their government will like to replicate.
Responding, Wike stated that the state will continue to be an investment destination because of the peaceful environment and her rich resources.
“The issue of peace in Rivers State is no longer a challenge. Rivers State is an investment destination,” Wike said.
He said the state will continue to partner with sister African countries to advance the course of development and enhance the economy of the state.