The French government says it has set aside about $1.13b to invest in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry, to strengthen its economic relations in Africa, Premium Times reported.

According to a statement by the NNPC, France Ambassador to Nigeria, Denys Gauer, made this known when the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of the NNPC, Ndu Ughamadu, led a delegation to his office in Abuja, Vanguard informed.

Gauer, who named Nigeria as France’s first economic trading partner in Africa, said the French Development Agency has already packaged about $1.13b to encourage French investors to invest in the Nigerian oil and gas sector.

He noted that some of the French companies interested in coming to do business in Nigeria include investors currently developing wind and solar energy solutions in Katsina State.

He added that the French government was also cooperating with the Nigerian government in its fight against Boko Haram insurgency in the northeastern part of the country.

While commending the Federal Government for stemming the Niger Delta insecurity situation, the envoy noted that Total, a French oil and gas Company already operating in Nigeria, had significant investment equity in the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG) and Egina projects.