Nigeria, U.S. to strengthen ties in oil, gas sector

Ibe Kachikwu
Ibe Kachikwu [Photo Credit: THISDAYLIVE]

The United States on Tuesday said it would encourage more of its firms to invest in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector.

This promise was made during a meeting held between Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, and the Secretary of Energy of the United States, Rick Perry, on the sidelines of the 24th Africa Oil Week currently holding in Cape Town, South Africa.

A statement by the media department of the ministry sent to PREMIUM TIMES revealed that the American official further pledged his nation’s support in the areas of ”newer technology and skill set training to deepen Nigerian participation and production in oil and gas.”
Mr. Perry also commended Nigeria for the significant steps taken in the industry.

“The key message and thrust of the United States administration is to be strategic partners with Nigeria”, the statement quoted Mr. Perry as saying.

According to the statement, the U.S. official said his government has a high level of respect for Nigerians and pledged its willingness to continue to encourage American companies to invest in Nigeria’s oil sector.

The statement revealed that the meeting in Cape Town served 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 United States Departments of State and Energy in Washington D.C. at the sidelines of the Offshore Technology Conference.

Mr. Kachikwu in response to the comments and feedback given by Mr. Perry, was quoted as saying: “the Federal Government of Nigeria under the leadership of President Buhari has clearly set out the choices that have to be made as a nation over the next four years and has also taken significant steps in achieving this through the continuous implementation of the seven BigWins – 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 have contributed greatly in helping Nigeria claw back from recession.”

Mr. Kachikwu also reportedly highlighted the roles the Nigerian government has played through the institution of the Joint Venture cash call payment agreement, ensuring adherence to due process in the sector.

He added that plans are in place to reduce government’s role in the sector in order to increase private sector participation.

Mr. Kachikwu disclosed that a comprehensive and holistic infrastructural map, which is currently being developed by the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, would be launched in December 2017.

He also highlighted the local content growth which the Nigeria Oil & Gas sector has experienced. He claimed it has moved from 5 per cent at the inception of the Buhari administration to about 40 per cent local content compliance currently.

The statement said the U.S. official extended an invitation to Mr. Kachikwu, to take a look at the Department of Energy sector laboratories, which specifically develop new technologies being currently deployed in oil and gas in the United States.

Mr. Kachikwu likewise invited the official to participate in the forthcoming maiden edition of the Nigerian International Petroleum Summit, NIPS, scheduled to hold in February, 2018 in Abuja, Nigeria.

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