Post Views: 563 The French Government says it has set aside about €1bn for investment in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry, which may be threatened by ch...
The French Government says it has set aside about €1bn for investment in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry, which may be threatened by challenges posed by the nation’s unclear fiscal policies in the sector, especially with the piecemeal passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill by the National Assembly, after about a decade of its first presentation by the executive arm.
Following disagreements that have seen the original Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) go back and forth between the executive and legislative arms of government, the 8th National Assembly opted to pass the document in segments, beginning with the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) which seeks to unbundle the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), now awaiting concurrence by the House of Representatives, following the earlier passage by the Senate.
The PIB was based on the report of the Oil and Gas Sector Reform Implementation Committee (OGIC), set up by Federal Government in 2000 to carry out comprehensive reform of the nation’s oil and gas industry.
According to France Ambassador, Denys Gauer, there are concerns that some French companies are having challenges with the all-important sector, he said the fund was put in place by his country’s development agency to encourage French investors to invest in the Nigeria Oil and Gas sector.
Speaking when the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division (GPAD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Ndu Ughamadu, led a delegation to his office in Abuja, Gauer however noted that Total, a French multinational Oil and Gas Company, had significant investment equity in the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG) and Egina project.
He nonetheless added that some French investors were currently developing wind energy and solar energy in Katsina State, North West Nigeria, just as he commended the Federal Government for stemming the Niger Delta insecurity situation, noting that Nigeria remains his country’s first economic trading partner in Africa.
France, Gauer continued, is also cooperating with the Federal Government in the fight against the Boko Haram insurgency.
Speaking earlier, Ughamadu, said the Corporation under the current management led by the Group Managing Director, Dr. Maikanti Baru, was well positioned and open to investment opportunities from the French Government and investors.
Ughamadu noted that with the significant scale down in pipeline vandalism and insecurity which has boosted oil production, global investors such as the French Government can now invest in renewable energy, gas and power infrastructural development, pipeline construction, storage facility and the direct sales and direct purchase of Nigeria crude oil grades.
He called for closer collaboration between the French Government and the Corporation, especially in the area of consular services to enable NNPC top executives and staff meet their global engagements.
Ughamadu thanked the Ambassador for the warm reception accorded the NNPC delegation and assured him that with the leadership of the new NNPC management, the Corporation was determined to develop a robust business atmosphere for investors.