The United states has re-affirmed that Nigeria remains a critical priority for the U.S. bilateral relations with Africa.
Amb. Mary Warlick, the Acting Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs said this during a meeting with the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu in Washington.
Warlick commended Nigeria on the significant steps taken in the Oil and Gas Industry reforms which he described as timely.
”I commend Nigeria on the significant steps taken in the oil and gas industry, especially in the area of shared insights gained by the U.S. team from reviewing the National Oil policy, gas policy, fiscal policy and the draft of the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill and Petroleum Industry Fiscal Bill developed by the Ministry of Petroleum Resources,” he noted.
Responding, Kachikwu said the Federal Government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari had set out plans that had to be made over the next four years.
He outlined steps the ministry had taken in achieving this through the continuous implementation of the 7BigWins – the Nigerian Petroleum roadmap; which focuses on stabilising the business environment, enshrining openness and transparency, developing and entrenching new policies and regulations.
He also hinted on the launch of a pet project – “Project 100” aimed at maximising and unleashing talents by identifying 100 Nigerians who had access to finding.
“And we are willing to make a change in the industry and collaborating with them to find solutions to the industry’s problems with a view to putting Nigeria on the path of glory”, he said.
Kachikwu further reiterated the positive impact of the ongoing engagement in the Niger Delta and Oil Producing States led by Acting President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.
He said it was yielding results as evidenced by the near zero militant incidence and normalcy in production activity being restored in the region.
He also harped on the need to work together with the U.S. to sustain progress on reforms and match it with increased international investments in Nigeria’s Oil and Gas sector.
Kachukwu said other areas of collaboration with the U.S. was to invest in capacity building and acquisition of technology.