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Foreign investors losing confidence in Nigeria’s petroleum sector, NNPC boss warns

By Obas Esiedesa

The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mallam Mele Kyari has warned that international investors were losing confidence in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry.

He blamed the development on the absence of a stable fiscal environment, which he said had been inhibiting the growth of the Nigerian petroleum industry, especially the upstream sector.

Kyari, according to a statement by NNPC on Tuesday, stated this when members of the House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream) visited the Corporation on an oversight duty.

He urged the lawmakers to act fast and arrest the situation by passing the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).

The PIB, an attempt by the Federal Government enact a new law for the oil and gas industry has been in the making for over 18 years. The sector is government by laws made in the 1960s.

“We need to act quickly to move from this unstable situation to a very stable one and the only way is for us to get the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) to work so that countries and investors can work with us,” the GMD stated.

NNPC GMD with members Reps Committee on Petroleum (upstream)

He said foreign capital was needed in the upstream sector and that the only way to attract it was to have stable laws and a friendly business environment that could guarantee cost recovery and a decent return on investment for investors.

He disclosed that the uncertainty in the sector created by the long delay in the passage of the PIB has led to a number of divestments from the country in the recent past.

Kyari also stated that the drive by the management of NNPC to entrench the culture of transparency in the Corporation has improved its business fortunes and creditworthiness as lenders are now willing to grant credit to it.

In his remarks, the Chairman of the Committee, Rep. Musa Sarki Adar, expressed the readiness of his committee to provide the necessary support for the Corporation to discharge its duties without hindrance.

He acknowledged the Corporation’s efforts at deepening transparency and accountability, stressing that the Committee was impressed with the level of professionalism exhibited by the NNPC Management and the leadership role played by the GMD in rallying the oil and gas industry to provide support for the Federal Government’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a presentation, the Managing Director of the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), Engr. Mansur Sambo, said the company has increased its gas production to 860mmscf/d and is now the largest supplier of gas to the domestic market.

All the business units in the Upstream arm of the NNPC made presentations to the committee, the statement added.

Written by ExpressDay


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