By Scholar Osita
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, has said Nigeria is targeting about $100 billion in investment in the petroleum sector in order to drive the sector to desired height where it provides maximum contribution to the overall growth and development of the nation.
Kachikwu stated this while addressing the press shortly after the close of the five-day Nigeria International Petroleum Summit, which held in Abuja.
The Minister of state disclosed that already FG had sealed deals in excess of $40 billion that would start coming in the nearest future, but said that the amount would not be able to adequately drive the needed investment in the nation’s petroleum sector.
In his words, “I did mention investment portfolio of about $40 billion and the number is coming from three very unique projects. But my point is that $40 billion is not enough.
“We need to be targeting about $100 billion in investment in this sector to revive the sector to where it will give you maximum contribution. Those will go into gas infrastructure, pipe projects, replacement of existing dilapidated pipelines among others” he state
The Minister stressed that plans are in place to ensure local content, through well articulated programmes to achieve increased local participation in oil and gas projects.
“In fact I have set a timeline for NCMB to set a 10-year plan to plan a total FPSO in Nigeria” he added.
According to him, for the first time Nigerians have actively participated in the fabrication of huge module, in form of Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) which was sent to Korea, adding that there are plans to achieve incremental local participation in building of FPSO in future.
He stated that Federal Government is currently exploring more ways of developing its crude for maximum benefits, stressing that ‘exporting crude is like exporting agriculture raw materials products, which is not the way forward.
Earlier, the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, in his closing remarks, noted that this first summit has set the foundation for the achievement of the objectives of its founding fathers, namely to create a hub of Africa’s oil and gas activities of the African continent.
According to him, learning from past experience, Nigeria split the omnibus Petroleum Industy Bill into a number of proposed legislations, maybe three in all, some of which have been approved already by the executive council for presentation to the National Assembly for their consideration.
“And we believe that this will be done speedily and already we are seeing signs that a lot of work has been done by the National Assembly”.
The Vice President noted that participation at the event having recorded attendance of over 1,000 delegates, exhibitors and visitors from over 32 countries of Africa and outside the continent shows the desire for greater cooperation among the old and the new in the industry among African countries in the league of oil producing states.
”With the largest proven gas reserves in Africa and the seventh largest in the world, with over 38 billion barrels of oil reserves and a daily production in excess of two million barrels, and the continent’s largest concentration of skilled manpower for the oil and gas industry built over 30 years, naturally Nigeria’s experiences can be useful to other African countries.
“I believe the NIPS therefore provides a good opportunity for the exchange of experiences among the large and small, the old and the new, and the potential oil producing states in Africa. Furthermore, this summit has laid a solid foundation for encouraging the growth of local content in the African oil and gas industry, and to provide a forum for the display of the progress that Africa is making in the field of oil and gas technology.
“The challenge for Africa is certainly enormous. Many of the traditional markets for oil in Europe and Asia are, of course, developing alternatives. This at the same time coincides with some African countries just making finds.
The volatility of the oil market is another serious challenge, and these are not challenges that can be tackled successfully mainly by countries taking independent decisions. Collaborations, synergies and knowledge sharing are very important.
“For us in Africa we have to work hard to make the best of our God-given resources before it’s too late. Together we can surmount our hurdles faster, not if we try to do so individually. I would like to assure our oil and gas operators, of the Federal Government of Nigeria’s commitment to creating the enabling environment for the industry to achieve its destiny in Africa” he stated.
Osinbajo was quick to remind participants of federal government’s determination to introduce legislation that will remove all encumbrances to efficient conduct of oil and gas businesses