By Michael Eboh
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Ibe Kachikwu and the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Mr. Maikanti Baru, Tuesday, put aside their differences and discussed opportunities in the Nigerian petroleum industry and ways to grow the sector.
The duo met at the ongoing Nigerian Economic Summit in Abuja, at the Energy Policy Committee breakout session.
Baru, a lead discussant at one of the sessions, came first at the venue of the programme, while Kachikwu walked in about 15 minutes later. As soon as the Minister of State entered, Baru stood, approached him and exchanged pleasantries.
Kachikwu also offered that he be represented at the second session of the dialogue by Baru, a request the organisers politely declined, because Baru was to chair a session and it would affect his participation.
However, Kachikwu left before the end of the programme and Baru represented him. However, Kachikwu returned and joined Baru in chairing the event. After the session, both men held brief chat before departing.
Speaking on the opportunities in the Nigerian oil and gas industry, Kachikwu said Nigerian petroleum industry has immense potentials which are growing on a daily basis.
He agreed that the operating environment is tough, but stated that the Federal Government was looking at areas where it can provide incentives to boost returns for investors, so as to attract more investors into the industry.
He explained that the Federal Government is putting in place machineries to increase the scope of its earnings in the industry.
He also noted that the environment is improving, adding that companies that had suspended their big ticket projects are beginning to look at the potentials of reviving the projects and are set to take Final Investment Decision, FID.
Baru, on the other hand, highlighted the opportunities in the forthcoming marginal oil fields bid round, stating that the successful completion of the process would present a veritable opportunity for Nigeria to grow its crude oil output and create employment.