The Nigerian Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, has called for the globalisation of the nation’s economy to attract more foreign investors in the country.
The minister made the call in Abuja while addressing the sixth Sustainability in the Extractive Industries Conference, organised by the CSR-in-Action in Abuja for stakeholders in the extractive industry.
Kachikwu said since 2012 when the conference started, a lot had been achieved and called for the development of the nation’s local economy for global participation.
He called for the strengthening of our local economy in such a way that it can take advantage of extra border foray and invest in other countries.
He said the local economy has to be was robust and strengthened, in order to play an international role and would not attract foreign investors.
According to Kachikwu, to attract investors, the nation needs to build a sufficient and robust infrastructure to enable cost of production to be at its lowest level to do business in Nigeria.
“So we have a real major challenge in the oil sector for the next five years; so we need to create a five-year Marshal Plan to replace decayed infrastructure in the sector,’’ he said.
He reiterated the need to upgrade the nation’s oil infrastructure, adding that this was not easy now because Nigeria did not save enough during the oil boom and could not do this now because oil price had fallen.
Kachikwu urged the government to provide tax holidays and good enabling environment to encourage local producers, noting that instead of vilifying local producers, Nigerians should commend them to do more.
He added that the key to doing business was finance and there was need to assist our local producers through development finance and by creating necessary financial incentives to help them do their business.
He said infrastructure financing institutions such as Bank of industry, Bank of Agriculture and Bank of Infrastructure also needed to be strengthened to attract enough resources and capital for the sector.
He advised Nigeria and Angola to bring African oil market together to increase oil production and export to other nations.
Earlier, Maikanti Baru, the Group Managing Director of NNPC, said Nigeria was endowed with over 39 billion barrels of oil reserves and 192 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves.
Baru said Nigeria was among the 20 top nations in terms of hydro carbon reserves.
According to him, Nigeria’s production is building up and NNPC is currently producing about 2.2 million barrels per day and about eight billion standard cubic feet of gas per day.
He said that the intention of NNPC was to sustain the current oil and gas production in the country.