The U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, James Entwistle, has said that there is no hidden agenda behind his country’s decision to stop crude oil purchase from Nigeria.
Mr. Entwistle said this while fielding questions from journalists at the 240th Anniversary of the U.S. Independence in Abuja.
The envoy said the price of oil was determined by the international market and that the desire of every business person was to get the best product at the best price.
“There is no conspiracy for the U.S. not to buy oil from Nigeria.
“Price of oil is determined by international market and business people go to get the best product for the best price. That something happened to us with oil.
“But I wish you listened to my last statement where I talked about the importance of the private sector, the commitment of the U.S. companies to help build this country (Nigeria),” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the U.S. had in 2014 stopped the importation of crude oil from Nigeria, a development that was tied to the discovery of Shale oil and gas in commercial quantity in the country.
The Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, recently said the U.S. would soon resume the importation of crude oil from Nigeria.
He said the rekindled relationship was a direct fallout of President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to the US in July this year.
The minister, however, did not reveal the details of the development but said the U.S. had indicated its interest in buying “very limited” quantities of Nigeria’s crude.
Mr. Entwistle urged the Muhammadu Buhari-led government to create an environment that would attract more foreign investment into the country as a way of revamping the nation’s economy.
“I am not much of an economist but I think the government is starting in the right direction.
“Things like fuel subsidy, exchange rate will continue to create an environment that is welcoming to foreign investment.
“Some of the biggest U.S. companies in the world are here, they’ve been here for decades, they are happy. So it’s better to maintain an environment that will attract more foreign investment,” he said. (NAN)