BY YEMIE ADEOYE
A United States of American trade delegation to Nigeria has pledged support for the on-going transformation project of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.
The trade delegation led by the US Assistant Secretary for Trade Promotions and Director General, US and Foreign Commercial Service, Suresh Kumar, gave the endorsement during a visit to the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Engr. Austen Oniwon, at the NNPC Towers in Abuja, during the week.
Kumar who spoke after his delegation was given an overview of the NNPC Transformation project and the investment opportunities the corporation and the entire oil and gas industry in Nigeria offer, said: “We are looking forward to working with you, we support the direction you are going. We support transparency in the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill”.
The Assistant Secretary who said he was in the country with representatives of 20 US companies stated that the US considers Nigeria as an ally.
Earlier, while welcoming the delegation, Oniwon said the US was a very strategic partner to Nigeria as it buys about 56 percent of the nation’s total crude production.
The GMD who expressed hope that the relationship between both countries would continue in spite of the introduction of shale gas into the energy mix in the US, declared that NNPC is currently undergoing transformation and getting ready for the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill which would wean the Corporation from the Federal Government and become self-financing and profit-driven.
He reiterated his optimism that the PIB would be passed by the National Assembly and signed into law by the President within the tenure of this administration.
The trade delegation was accompanied by the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Terence McCulley, the Managing Director of ExxonMobil, Mr. Mark Ward and the representative of Chevron, Senator Gbenga Aluko.
Rockwell Automation and others.