ABUJA, (Xinhua) --
Nigeria seeks to attract investment up to the
tune of 10 billion U.S. dollars to the country’s oil and gas
sector in the next five years, the government said on Tuesday at
the opening of an international conference and exhibition in
Troubled by a myriad
of problems, including increased militant operation in the Niger
Delta region, the government is working to attract more
investors to the country, state oil minister Ibe Emmanuel
Kachikwu told participants at the conference.
By attracting this
huge investment, Africa’s largest oil producer aims to address
some of the infrastructure funding gaps of the local oil and gas
industry, the official said.
sector in Nigeria has seen increased investment wth more plans
to transform the sector and take the country even closer to
meeting its domestic demand of petroleum and becoming an
exporter of refined fuel.
Since last July, the
country’s downstream economy has been relatively stable, but
work is in progress to solve the challenges, Kachikwu said.
According to him,
the major problem in the upstream economy was a 6 billion
dollars Joint Venture (JV) funding debt and other litigations.
An outstanding debt
of 5.1 billion dollars would be paid over five years through
incremental oil production volumes, he added.
The Organization of
Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and an array of industry
players, including international and local oil service
producers, gathered to discuss the Nigerian oil and gas industry
transformation plan at the conference.
Speaking at the
opening session of the conference, OPEC secretary-general
Mohammed Barkindo said due to global demand, oil, which is
expected to surpass 99 million barrels a day by 2021, will
remain a fuel of choice for the foreseeable future.
“Africa is also
expected to see a lot of new long-term additions that will help
satisfy its growing demands,” the OPEC scribe said, noting “in
fact, the continent is well positioned for downstream capacity
African region imports about 30 percent of the refined products
it consumes, making it by far the largest product importing
region, he added.
More than 6,000
delegates, 250 exhibitors, from over 20 countries, many oil and
gas experts and hundreds of government representatives from
different countries are attending the conference.
Arguably the largest
oil and gas conference and exhibition in west Africa, curtains
will fall on the annual event on Thursday, after deliberations
on how to stay afloat for an upturn in the oil and gas market.