The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mallam Mele Kyari, has said there is a need for Nigeria to act fast and address the loss of foreign investors’ confidence in the country’s oil and gas industry. Kyari noted that the uncertainty in the industry created by the long delay in the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill had led to a number of divestments from the country in the recent past.
He said the absence of a stable fiscal environment was inhibiting the growth of the industry, especially the upstream sector. The NNPC boss said these while playing host to members of the House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream) who were on an oversight visit to the corporation recently, according to a statement issued on Tuesday by the oil firm.
He said international investors were losing confidence in the nation’s oil and gas industry and urged the lawmakers to act fast and arrest the situation. “We need to act quickly to move from this unstable situation to a very stable one and the only way is for us to get the Petroleum Industry Bill to work so that countries and investors can work with us,” Kyari said.
According to him, foreign capital is needed in the upstream sector and the only way to attract it is to have stable laws and a friendly business environment that can guarantee cost recovery and a decent return on investment for investors. He said the drive by the management of the NNPC to entrench the culture of transparency in the corporation had improved its business fortunes and creditworthiness “as lenders are now willing to grant credit to it.” In his remarks, the chairman of the committee, Mr Musa Adar, expressed the readiness of his committee to provide the necessary support for the corporation to discharge its duties without hindrance. He acknowledged the corporation’s efforts at deepening transparency and accountability.
He said the committee was impressed with the level of professionalism exhibited by the NNPC management and the leadership role played by the GMD in rallying the industry to provide support for the Federal Government’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.