Nigeria and Sao Tomé and Príncipe debate future of joint development zone

A government delegation from Nigeria on Thursday in São Tomé started negotiations with the government of São Tomé and Príncipe to relaunch the agreement on the Joint Development Zone for oil exploration.

Urbino Botelho, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Communities, said that the São Tomé proposal was to establish a bilateral commission that will meet in each country alternately and will make decisions and supervise programmes and joint actions.

At the meeting that marked the first two days of the Nigerian delegation’s visit, the São Tomé government proposed that special attention is given to the problem of the Joint Development Zone, which had been inoperative for more than three years.

“We welcome the convening of the joint ministerial council and propose it to be held by the middle of next September, thus allowing a detailed discussion on this matter,” Botelho told Portuguese news agency Lusa.

São Tomé and Príncipe signed a joint oil exploration agreement with Nigeria in 2001 in an overlapping area of sea between both countries, where the Nigerian side is entitled to 60% of revenues and the remaining 40% is earmarked for the São Tomé State. (macauhub)