There is some level of latent difficulty for investors to come and invest in Nigeria due to security concerns, among other issues, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, has said.
This is coming as the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Maikanti Baru, announced that the country’s current crude oil production had risen to 2.2 million barrels per day.
Kachikwu, who spoke at the 6th Sustainability in the Extractive Industries Conference organised by CSR-in-Action on Wednesday in Abuja, noted that although most countries of the world were faced with security issues, it was important for Nigeria to invest more in securing its citizens and investors.
The minister stated this while suggesting measures through which the economy and the oil sector could be revamped for the greater benefit of Nigerians.
He said, “Now, the second aspect of this discussion is that how do you open your economy in terms of foreign participation? There is almost some level of latent difficulty for investors to come into this country. First of all, they deal with the issue of security.
“Now, when we say security, every country has its own difficulties. You may find that if you take a crime-to-crime analysis, I’m sure that we are not necessarily worse than most countries. But it is just the publicity that we give to certain things that happen here.
“Two, the certainty of a foreigner to walk the streets and be protected; we need to begin to address this problem for it is not all about the incident. So we need to take security very seriously. And over the next five years if we are going to do this, we need to also invest in our security to a point where regional policing and state policing are key.”
The minister called for improvements in the country’s laws in order to enable businesses function efficiently in the oil and gas sector, adding that there was also the need for consistency in government policies.