Chinese investors could provide a much-needed lift to Nigeria's ailing economy by investing in its energy sector - but not necessarily in the country's vulnerable oil industry, one analyst has told CNBC.
Dolapo Oni, an energy analyst for Ecobank, told CNBC via telephone that Chinese "interest is less towards oil more towards gas." He attributed this to security fears in the Niger Delta region, rather than a potential OPEC production cut.
Nigeria's economy officially fell into recession at the end of August this year, partly due to falling oil prices on which it is heavily dependent. Earlier this month, Nigerian Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun told CNBC that her country was undergoing a "fundamental change in how we finance our oil," moving away from treasury cash calls and towards private funding.
In a statement reported by Reuters, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said in June that: "Memorandum of understandings worth over $80 billion to be spent on investments in oil and gas infrastructure, pipelines, refineries, power, facility refurbishments and upstream have been signed with Chinese companies."
Chinese firms involved include Huawei, Norinco and Sinopec. Following up on the pledges, Chinese investors are to visit Nigeria at the end of this month.