Foreign and indigenous oil, gas and service companies operating in the country have urged the Federal Government to create a stable operating environment, as well as develop a robust regulatory and fiscal framework as a strategic option of growing the nation’s oil industry.
The operators spoke at the opening of the Nigerian International Petroleum Summit(NIPS) holding in Abuja.
The Group Managing Director (GMD) of Aiteo E&P, Mr. Victor Okoronkwo, said carrying out critical reforms in the nation’s energy industry would play amajor role in boosting investors’ confidence and attracting the much-needed foreign investment.
Okoronkwo bemoaned the declining inflow of foreign investment into the Nigerian economy, compared to its peers in West Africa.
He said while Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to Africa rose 11 per cent to $46bn, and that the FDI to Nigeria shrunk 43 per cent to $2bn, and added that it was in contrast to the vast hydrocarbon resource base Nigeria was blessed with; which is the largest oil and gas reserves in Africa.
He further said fossils would continue to play a dominant role in the global energy mix in the foreseeable future and that Aiteo E&P was working assiduously towards significant contribution for Nigeria to realise its hydrocarbon objectives of three million barrels per day production and 40billion barrels of reserves by 2025.
In his remarks, the Managing Director (MD) of Shell Petroleum Development Company(SPDC), Mr. Osagie Okunbor, said the company was committed to be a partner for sustainable growth under the right environment and terms.
Commenting, the MD of Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG), Mr. Tony Attah, said the Train7 which Final Investment Decision (FID) was recently taken would bring a lot of benefits to the country.
Attah, who was represented by the company’s General Manager (GM) Production, Mr. Adeleye Falade, said at the beginning of construction, 55 per cent of the engineering work for Train 7 would be done by Nigerians and that at the peak of construction 10,000 Nigerians would be employed.
The Chairman of Oil Producers Trade Section (OPTS) of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce, Lorenzo Florini, said challenges that needed to be solved for the oil industry included fiscal stability and simplification of the governance structure in the sector.
The Managing Director of Total Plc, Mike Sangster, called on government to create a win-win situation to encourage investment sustainability in the country.