Nigeria targets $20 billion investment in oil sector, says Lokpobiri

The Federal Government said it is targeting a $20 billion investment in the oil sector very soon because of the reforms that have taken place in the last year.

Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), Heineken Lokpobiri, disclosed this yesterday while presenting the one-year scorecard of his ministry at the inter-ministerial press briefing to mark the first year in office of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

Ministers of the Federal Capital Territory; Youth and Social Development; Steel Development; Solid Mineral; and Defence took their turn to brief the media on their activities during the last year.

Lokpobiri said that there have been significant improvements in the oil sector in the last year. According to him, “Our oil production has improved significantly from below 1.5 million barrels per day to 1.7 million barrels per day, which is above our OPEC quota of 1.5 million barrels per day. Our target is to hit two to three million barrels per day by the end of the year.”

He said even major international oil companies (IOCs) are showing interest in investing in Nigeria, noting that the oil companies have confirmed that they are not leaving Nigeria, but only moving offshore.

The Minister said, “As I am speaking, there is a company that will soon announce an investment of $10 billion in Nigeria, while another will invest $5 billion. We have created an enabling environment, that is why companies like Total Energies are showing interest and Schlumberger is also coming back and they have a programme to drill up to 100 wells.”

He said the reason why the Nigerian oil sector has suffered over the years is because of the unfriendly environment and for over 12 years there has been no serious investment in the sector.

“When we assumed office, the biggest challenge met by this administration was a dire lack of investment in the Nigerian oil and gas sector, due to the protracted passage of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) and inconsistent government policies, which drove potential investment to other climates.

“We have been working diligently to eliminate the bureaucracies and bottlenecks that have stifled investment for over a decade. By resolving conflicting issues and fostering a more consistent policy and business-friendly environment, we have made significant strides in attracting and sustaining investments in the sector.

“The business-friendly efforts of this administration have rekindled investors’ confidence in our oil and gas sector and ensured the return of companies such as industry service providers who had earlier seized or greatly reduced operations on our shores due to the unfavorable business climate. For example, last night I met one-on-one with SLB’s global CEO, who further solidified their commitment to Nigeria.”

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