By Michael Eboh
The government of India, Thursday, offered to provide credit facilities to Nigeria and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, to finance the revamp construction and maintenance of the country’s refineries and other infrastructure development project.
According to a statement by the NNPC, Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, His Excellency Abhay Thakur, stated this in Abuja, during a visit to the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari.
Thakur commended the management of the NNPC for the recent renewal of the crude oil term contracts for three Indian companies.
He also called on NNPC to increase crude oil supplied to the Asian country, especially in view of the increasing energy needs of India.
He disclosed that India was ready to provide credit line mechanisms and expertise to help NNPC revamp its massive infrastructure across the country.
“India is prepared to offer Nigeria and particularly, the NNPC, a credit line mechanism to help her in the areas of refinery maintenance, construction, security, surveillance and anything possible.
“Our expertise in Information Technology (IT) is available as well. We are ready to cooperate with NNPC to boost our bilateral relations,” Thakur asserted.
The Indian High Commissioner also congratulated Kyari on his appointment as the Group Managing Director of NNPC, noting that the confidence placed in him was well considered for national interest.
In his response, Kyari said the NNPC would continue to meet 10 per cent of India’s total crude oil demand.
Kyari disclosed that this would be in spite of competing demand for the products from other countries.
He noted that Nigeria, through the corporation, would continue to support India’s energy security, adding that the recent Memorandum of Understanding in the area of energy between Nigeria and India would be consummated to further strengthen the bilateral relations between the two countries.
He stated that NNPC was desirous of growing the energy cooperation with India and that it was time to progress from just talking to walking the talk.
He said India was a very important market and that NNPC would ensure that the current volume of crude oil supply from Nigeria to India is secured for the collective interest of both countries.
“We are ready to have a robust engagement with the Indian trade team to provide a win-win energy scenario between us. Every trade opportunity that is available will be fully explored,” Kyari posited.
He averred that there were lots of untapped investment opportunities in the nation’s Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) and expressed the willingness of NNPC to aggressively improve LPG infrastructure and consumption in the country.