46. Letter From President Carter to Nigerian Head of State Obasanjo 1

Dear General Obasanjo:

Your letter of May 242 was, as always, true to the forthright spirit which has characterized our exchanges since we first met in Washington. Because we have been able to communicate in this open and direct manner, I have personally found much value in our regular correspondence.

The international energy situation is a matter of paramount concern to both of us. I appreciate that Nigeria has expanded its oil exports over the last six months, helping to relieve the shortfall in world supply. I know that your decisions on oil production have been and will be based on a profound concern for Nigeria’s long-term interest in a stable world economy.

I understand your impatience with the slow pace of action to end the waste of Nigeria’s gas resources. I share your concern and hope a feasible solution can be found. The discussions between the Bonny LNG Company and a group of American firms on the sale of liquefied natural gas to the United States seemed to offer promise of such a [Page 139] solution, provided a formula reconciling energy, legal and market considerations could be devised.

It is important that your government’s discussions with potential United States buyers proceed with the fullest possible understanding of relevant United States laws, policies, and energy markets. I propose, therefore, to send to Lagos a small delegation of economic and energy specialists to discuss with your government the factors likely to be critical to a decision by United States regulatory agencies in this instance.3

I am advised that no application for importation of Nigerian LNG has yet been filed with our regulatory agencies.

If convenient to your government, the delegation could be in Lagos in mid-July. That timing also would enable the delegation to provide background on the decisions of the Economic Summit in Tokyo.

It is a matter of great importance that Nigeria and the United States maintain relations of full understanding and cooperation. I share your determination to try to achieve solutions of differences through full and frank discussion.


Jimmy Carter
  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, President’s Correspondence with Foreign Leaders, Box 14, Nigeria 1–10/79. No classification marking.
  2. See footnote 2, Document 45.
  3. See Document 48.