The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has said the agreement by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and non-OPEC producers to cut production with a view to stabilising prices is already yielding results for Nigeria.
He said higher oil prices and a long-term plan for production were spearheading the country’s efforts to get its oil and gas sector back on track.
The Oxford Business Group quoted Kachikwu as saying in a wide-ranging interview with the global research and consultancy firm.
“The resurgence in prices is a fundamental driver behind Nigeria’s push for investment as international oil companies are planning new projects in the country,” he told the OBG.
“Since the (OPEC) agreement was made, external confidence in the country is higher, while the business environment here is improving.”
According to a statement, the full interview with Kachikwu will appear in The Report: Nigeria 2017, OBG’s forthcoming report on the country’s economy.
It said the publication would also contain a detailed, sector-by-sector guide for investors, alongside contributions from leading personalities.
The minister also talked to the OBG about the broad-based challenges that Nigeria faces in its bid to attract new investors, which he said included militancy, corruption and multi-taxation.
“We are focusing on all of these issues, with a view to solving them and proving that Nigeria is more commercially viable than in the past. Once we are able to do that and stabilise the situation, we can achieve our long-term goal of boosting income,” he said.
Kachikwu noted that tackling militancy in the Delta communities was a high priority for the government, which would produce far-reaching benefits.
“We can already see that our efforts to create a more enabling environment and increase stability are producing positive responses from investors,” he said.
Concerning the restructuring of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Kachikwu said the overhaul had been “fundamental in cutting down costs and improving efficiency”.
As a result of the changes, he said the corporation produced some profit in 2016 for the first time in 15 years.
According to the statement, The Report: Nigeria 2017 will be a vital guide to the many facets of the country such as the macroeconomics, infrastructure and banking.
It would be produced in conjunction with the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission, the Nigerian Economic Summit Group and SIAO, it added.
The OBG is a global research and consultancy firm, which publishes economic intelligence on the markets of Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Central and Latin America and the Caribbean.