â€¢ Expresses willingness to encourage more investments in Nigeria
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, On Tuesday held a meeting with the Secretary of Energy of the United States of America, Mr. Rick Perry, on the sidelines of the 24th Africa Oil Week currently holding in Cape Town, South Africa as part of his ongoing investment focused on international oil and gas engagements.
While speaking at the meeting, Perry commended Nigeria on the significant steps taken in the oil and gas industry, stating that the key message and thrust of the US administration is to be strategic partners with Nigeria.
While reiterating this message, he further stated that the US government has a high level of respect for the people of Nigeria and pledged willingness to continue to encourage US companies to invest in Nigeriaâ€™s oil sector.
The landmark meeting which is the first of its kind between the two leaders of the energy sector in both countries since the inauguration of the new administration in the US came as a follow up to an earlier meeting that was hosted by the Office of the Secretary of Energy earlier in May 2017 at the US Departments of State and Energy in Washington D.C. at the sidelines of the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC).
Kachikwu while responding to the comments and feedback given by Perry, said the Federal Government of Nigeria under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari has clearly set out the choices that have to be made as nation over the next four years and have also taken significant steps in achieving this through the continuous implementation of the 7BigWins â€“ the Nigerian petroleum roadmap; which focuses on stabilising the business environment, enshrining openness and transparency, and developing and entrenching new policies and regulations.
These laudable achievements, according to him, have contributed greatly in helping Nigeria claw back from recession.
Kachikwu restated the positive role the government has played through the instituting of the Joint Venture cash call payment agreement, ensuring adherence to due process in the sector, promoting accountability, encouraging sanctity of contracts and reviewing the Fiscal Policy to provide incentives for investment in the sector while optimising revenues for the government.
He also hinted that plans are in place to reduce governmentâ€™s role in the sector in order to increase private sector participation.
While discussing issues relating to infrastructural development in the sector, Kachikwu noted that a comprehensive and holistic infrastructural map which is being developed by the Ministry of Petroleum Resources would be launched in December 2017.
Also, Kachikwu in the same vein highlighted the local content growth which the Nigeria oil and gas sector has experienced; it has moved from five per cent at the inception of the current administration to about 40 per cent local content compliance currently.
Perry, in his closing remarks at the meeting, informed Kachikwu, that the US government would be willing to assist Nigeria with access to newer technology and skill set training to deepen Nigerian participation and production in oil and gas.
He further extended an invitation to the minister to come to the US to take a look at the Department of Energy sector laboratories which specifically develop new technologies being currently deployed in oil and gas.
Kachikwu also used the opportunity to invite the Secretary of Energy and his team to participate in the forthcoming maiden edition of the Nigerian International Petroleum Summit (NIPS) scheduled to hold in February, 2018 in Abuja, Nigeria.