- FG to Attract $10bn Oil and Gas Investments
The Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Dr Emmanuel Kachikwu, has said that the Federal Government will attract more than $10bn investments to the oil and gas industry in the next five years.
Kachikwu said this on Tuesday in Abuja at the ongoing Nigerian Oil and Gas Conference tagged: “ Reforming and Repositioning the Oil and Gas Industry in Nigeria’’.
He said that the investments would address challenges facing the oil and gas industry, covering pipelines, refineries, gas and power, facility refurbishment and upstream financing.
The minister of state said that the objective was to bridge the infrastructure funding gaps in the Nigerian oil and gas sector.
He said, “Time has come to bring down the cost of crude oil production and have the right incentives.
“Three years ago, we have cost issues, technological issues but not issues of where the money would come from because of crude price regime.
“Between 2015to 2016, we took drastic measures on how to moderate prices, while between July 2016 and now, there have been lots of stability in the downstream economy.
“There are still some challenges but work is in progress.”
Kachikwu said that the major problem in upstream was $6bn Joint Venture (JV) funding debt and other litigations.
He said that an outstanding debt of $5.1bn would be paid over five years through incremental oil production volumes.
According to him, we now have new cash call model that would free government resources and help production stability.
He said, “There are still some governance issues to be addressed but once this is resolved, there is expected to be an improvement in oil production.
“We are left with options of bringing in investors that will help address the over $45bn infrastructure deficit.
“Government wants to be bold enough to take steps that have not been taken before. We have to release our assets to private investors.
“Either gas pipeline, crude pipeline, the time has come to move from government ownership to private ownership for efficiency.”
Kachikwu said that effort is ongoing in addressing the challenges in the Niger Delta region to boost oil production.
He said that government planned to grow oil production to three million barrels per day.
The minister of state said that government had commenced serious engagement with all stakeholders to achieve stability in the Niger Delta region.
He said talked about the Niger Delta crisis and reduced investments by oil firms.
Kachikwu said the cost of production was key and the issue of militancy was also key.
He said, “We have set a target of zero militancy for 2017 and it is achievable due to lots of community-based activities and motivation,’’ the mister of state said.
He said that the acting President had visited three states and was planning to visit Akwa Ibom State soon.
Kachikwu said that the oil sector could not wait for the political sector to find political solutions to issues.
He said, “We have to collaborate with the oil companies, state governments and see how we can capture some benefits that will come from this.
“We have been seeing engagement of youths and we expect more improvement day by day.
“The states must make their mini-economy agenda and they will work with security agencies.”
In his remark, the Secretary-General of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, Dr Mohammed Barkindo, commended Nigeria for exiting the Joint Venture Cash Call debt.
Barkindo said that the cash calls “are the counterpart funding which the Federal Government, represented by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, annually pays as its 60 per cent equity shareholding in various oil and gas fields’’.
It is operated by international oil companies in the country for more than four decades and indigenous oil firms and Nigeria owe arrears of $6.8bn.
Barkindo commended Kachikwu for securing the feat on behalf of the government.
He said, “I must single out the frontal approach on the lingering issue of funding our exploration as well as production, the JVC.
“Many of my colleagues, here that we served together, will testify that government after government, regime after regime, we have battled with this issue continuously without solution.
“This is a confession: the day you overcome this issue that had beleaguered this industry as well as government, you made my day.
‘’Same for the day of all participants who knew what the government had battled to stay afloat on the issue of cash-call.
“The approach has been innovative, the solution is very practical.”
India, Spain, the Netherlands, USA, Nigeria’s Major Export Markets -NBS
India, Spain and the Netherland top Nigeria’s export markets in the final quarter of 2020, according to the latest data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
The Commodity Price Indices and Terms of Trade Q4 2020 report showed that the United States and China trailed the three.
However, the NBS revealed Nigeria exports mainly crude oil and natural gas during the period under review.
It, “The major export and import market of Nigeria in Q4 2020 were India, Spain, the Netherlands, United States and China.
“The major export to these countries were crude petroleum and natural gas. The major imports from the countries were motor spirits, used vehicles, motorcycles and antibiotics.”
The bureau stated that the all-commodity group import index increased by 0.13 per cent between October and December 2020.
“This was driven mainly by an increase in the prices of base metals and articles of base metals (one per cent), boilers, machinery and appliances; parts thereof (1.03 per cent), and products of the chemical and allied industries (0.75 per cent),” it stated.
The NBS, however, noted that the index was negatively affected by animal and vegetable fats and oils and other cleavage products.
Onyeama: Qatar To Invest $5bn In Nigeria’s Economy
The oil-rich state of Qatar is to invest a total of $5 billion in Nigeria’s economy, the Foreign Affairs Minister, Godfrey Onyeama, has disclosed.
Onyeama, who spoke Sunday at a send forth dinner in honour of Nigeria’s Ambassador-designate to the State of Qatar, who is also the outgoing Director of Protocol (DOP) at the State House, Ambassador Yakubu Ahmed, also stated that recent career ambassadorial appointments made by the gederal government was based on merit, experience and professionalism.
The minister further said there had been discussions with Qatar on partnership with Nigeria’s Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF), for significant investments in the region of $5 billion in the Nigerian economy.
According to him, ‘‘Qatar is a weighty and strategic country and very strategic in that part of the world and we are putting our best feet forward to advance the interest of our country economically and in other areas.”
He recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari had visited the State of Qatar in 2016 and the Emir of Qatar, Tamim Bin Hammad Al-Thani, reciprocated with a State visit in 2019.
Onyeama also explained that only trusted hands with a track record of diligence, experience and professionalism in the Foreign Service were recently appointed career ambassadors by the federal government.
The minister said the appointment of Ahmed and other career ambassadors were predicated on posting dedicated and keen Foreign Service practitioners to serve as image makers of the country.
He said: ‘‘Ambassador Yakubu Ahmed is a dedicated professional with a penchant for rigour and detail. He is very capable and one of the best in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He is personable, affable, extremely friendly, dispassionate and objective.
‘‘He is going to head a very important mission, a very important country, reckoned to be one of the richest countries in the world, per capita, and there’s a lot we will be doing with the State of Qatar.”
Also speaking, the Deputy Chief of Staff, Adeola Rahman Ipaye, described the honoree as a ‘‘perfect gentleman, very even-natured and always well turned out’’.
Ipaye said he had no doubt that the newly appointed ambassador would serve the country well in Qatar, adding that: ‘‘We are further encouraged that when he completes this assignment, he would return to serve Nigeria in a higher capacity.’’
In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary, State House, Tijjani Umar, while congratulating the outgoing DOP on his appointment, lauded Ahmed for excellent service to the State House and the nation.
‘‘He served this institution and the nation with the deepest sense of responsibility and it is very important that we establish a tradition where the system appreciates those who have served it well and those who will continue to serve it well,’’ he said.
Umar urged the new envoy to keep very fond memories of his time at the Presidential Villa, assuring him of the prayers and goodwill of all the staff.
Responding, Ahmed thanked President Buhari for the great honour and privilege of making him his principal representative in Doha, Qatar.
The Ambassador-designate pledged to deplore his energy and skill to the promotion of the existing cordial relationship between Nigeria and Qatar, particularly in the areas of economic, political, cultural and consular affairs as well as other key areas.
Ahmed, who joined Nigeria’s Foreign Service in 1993, said during his years in public service he had learnt that ‘‘patriotism, selfless service, diligence, determination and perseverance will always result in the achievement of the desired objective’’.
According to him, these virtues would be his ‘‘watchword’’ in the pursuit of Nigeria’s foreign policy objectives and the attainment of national interests.
The Ambassador-designate singled out for appreciation the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, and the state Chief of Protocol, Ambassador Lawal Kazaure, saying he had learnt a lot working under their mentorship.
He expressed gratitude to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Permanent Secretary, State House for giving him the opportunity of a memorable work experience in the State House.
France, Nigeria to Build New Partnership
France is currently aiming at building a new partnership with Nigeria, with the dispatching of its Minister in charge of Foreign Trade and Attractiveness, Franck Riester, to Nigeria.
Riester, who was expected at the time of filing this report on Monday, is scheduled to visit Nigeria from 12-14 April, 2021.
A statement from the French Embassy in Nigeria said: “Franck Riester is visiting Nigeria from 12 to 14 April, a visit that follows up on the priorities set by French President Emmanuel Macron during his official visit to Nigeria in July 2018 and his desire to build a new partnership between Africa and France.
“As the largest economy in Africa and the economic engine of West Africa, Nigeria is indeed a major partner for France, the first in sub-Saharan Africa with bilateral trade amounting to a total of 4.5 billion USD in 2019 (2.3 billion USD in 2020, due to the Covid-19 pandemic).”
It disclosed that the minister will have several official meetings in Abuja and Lagos, in order to underline the importance of the bilateral economic relationship and to prepare the summit on the financing of African economies in Paris on 18 May.
It revealed that the objective of the mission is also to further strengthen the links between the French and Nigerian private sectors, and “in this regard, the minister will have in-depth discussions with the main Nigerian economic actors to strengthen bilateral cooperation and investments, both in Nigeria and in France, particularly in the logistics sector”.
It said while in the country, the minister would meet with young Nigerian entrepreneurs in the cultural and creative industries sector, to discuss the major role of their country in African creativity and the development of the African entrepreneurial ecosystem, with the support of France.
It further said: “The minister will also open the ‘Choose Africa’ conference, a €3.5 billion initiative by President Emmanuel Macron dedicated to supporting the development of start-ups and SMEs in Africa to enable the continent to benefit fully from the opportunities of the digital revolution.”
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