Nigeria will attract more than 10 billion dollars investments to the oil and gas industry in the next five years, the Petroleum minister Ibe Kachikwu, has said.
Kachikwu said this on Tuesday in Abuja at the ongoing Nigerian Oil and Gas (NOG) Conference tagged: “ Reforming and Repositioning the Oil and Gas Industry in Nigeria’’.
He said that the investments would address challenges facing the oil and gas industry, covering pipelines, refineries, gas and power, facility refurbishment and upstream financing.
The minister of state said that the objective was to bridge the infrastructure funding gaps in the Nigerian oil and gas sector.
“Time has come to bring down the cost of crude oil production and have the right incentives.
“Three years ago, we have cost issues, technological issues but not issues of where the money would come from because of crude price regime.
“Between 2015 and 2016, we took drastic measures on how to moderate prices, while between July 2016 and now, there have been lots of stability in the downstream economy.
Kachikwu said that the major problem in upstream was 6 billion dollars Joint Venture (JV) funding debt and other litigations.
He said that an outstanding debt of $5.1 billion would be paid over five years through incremental oil production volumes.
According to him, we now have new cash call model that would free government resources and help production stability.
“There are still some governance issues to be addressed but once this is resolved, there is expected to be improvement in oil production.
“We are left with options of bringing in investors that will help address the over $45billion infrastructure deficit.
“Government wants to be bold enough to take steps that have not been taken before. We have to release our assets to private investors.
“Either gas pipeline, crude pipeline, the time has come to move from government ownership to private ownership for efficiency,’’ the minister of state said.
Kachikwu said that effort is ongoing in addressing the challenges in the Niger Delta region to boost oil production.
He said that government planned to grow oil production to three million barrels per day.
The minister of state said that government had commenced serious engagement with all stakeholders to achieve stability in the Niger Delta region.
He talked about the Niger Delta crisis and reduced investments by oil firms.
Kachikwu said the cost of production was key and the issue of militancy was also key.
“We have set a target of zero militancy for 2017 and it is achievable due to lots of community based activities and motivation,’’ the mister of state said.
He said that the acting President had visited three states and was planning to visit Akwa Ibom State soon.
Kachikwu said that the oil sector could not wait for political sector to find political solutions to issues.
“We have to collaborate with the oil companies, state governments and see how we can capture some benefits that will come from this.
“We have been seeing engagement of youths and we expect more improvement day by day.
“The states must make their mini-economy agenda and they will work with security agencies.’’