The Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Emmanuel I. Kachikwu on Tuesday, 11th April, 2017 made a case for the deepening of investment in the Oil and Gas sector by International Oil Companies (IOCs) operating in Nigeria. Speaking at a meeting with top Executives of ExxonMobil at its Headquarters, Dr. Kachikwu commended ExxonMobil on its enduring partnership with Nigeria which has grown stronger over the years.
The Honourable Minister of State restated the efforts of the Federal Government aimed at reducing importation of petroleum products. This effort will be boosted if major IOC partners operating in Nigeria invest in building signature refineries to be run on joint venture basis with the Federal Government providing the necessary needed incentives.
While reiterating the gains that have been made in the sector through the signing of the repayment agreement for the Joint Venture Cash Call in 2016, Dr. Kachikwu further clarified that the initial payments to the IOCs would be made by the end of April 2017 and that it would be expedient if the IOCs reciprocate the Federal Government‟s gesture and commitment by ensuring that they ramp up investments in the country‟s Oil and Gas sector. He also encouraged ExxonMobil to invest in more practical deliveries in the area of human capital development and investment in local growth of skill sets required in the Oil and Gas sector.
ExxonMobil recognized the valued partnership with Nigeria and noble work of the Honorable Minister to ensure the development and growth of Nigeria‟s Oil and Gas sector. ExxonMobil also reiterated its commitment to help deliver power to Nigeria and support the Gas commercialization program of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources.
This meeting is part of the ongoing investment drive initiative embarked on by the Honorable Minister of State to International Oil Companies (IOCs), the first of these was with Italian IOC giant Eni in January 2017 where the Italian Company pledged to work with Nigeria to revamp the Port Harcourt Refinery. Other IOCs scheduled to be visited during include Shell, Chevron and Total.
In furtherance to this, the Honourable Minister of State will be would be leading the Country‟s delegation to the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston, Texas early May 2017 with the objective of “Showcasing the Opportunities, Processes & Reforms in Nigeria‟s Oil and Gas sector”