By Michael Eboh
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, yesterday, stated that France, through the French Development Agency, has set aside one billion euros to be invested in the Nigerian Oil and Gas industry.
According to a statement by the NNPC, France Ambassador to Nigeria, His Excellency, Denys Gauer, made this known when the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of the NNPC, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, led a delegation to his office in Abuja.
Gauer stated that the fund was aimed at encouraging French investors to invest in the Nigeria Oil and Gas sector, especially in the light of the fact that Nigeria remains her first economic trading partner in Africa.
He also stated that in spite of the concerns expressed by some French companies who were having challenges with the unclear Nigeria’s fiscal policies in the Oil and Gas sector, some other French investors were currently developing wind energy and solar energy in Katsina State.
The French Ambassador commended the Federal Government for stemming the Niger Delta insecurity situation, noting that Total, a French multinational oil and gas company, had significant investment equity in the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG) and Egina project.
He added that the French government is also cooperating with the Federal Government in the fight against Boko Haram insurgency.
In his own remarks, Ughamadu, said the NNPC, under the current management led by the Group Managing Director, Mr. Maikanti Baru, was well positioned and open to investment opportunities from the French Government and investors.
He noted that with the significant scale down in pipeline vandalism and insecurity which has boosted oil production, global investors such as the French Government can now invest in renewable energy, gas and power infrastructural development, pipeline construction, storage facility and the direct sales and direct purchase of Nigeria crude oil grades.
He said the NNPC as the state owned oil and gas Corporation had global operations and called for closer collaboration between the French Government and the Corporation especially in the area of consular services in order to enable NNPC top executives and staff meet their global engagements.
He thanked the Ambassador for the warm reception accorded the NNPC delegation and assured him that with the leadership of the new NNPC management, the corporation was determined to develop a robust business atmosphere for investors.