Oil
Crude oil

…says negative comments hindering capital inflow to Nigeria

By Michael Eboh, Ediri Ejoh & Prince Okafor

The Federal Government, Wednesday, disclosed that so far, one billion barrels of crude oil have been discovered in the North-East region of the country.

Speaking at the closing ceremony of the Nigerian International Petroleum Summit, NIPS, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, also stated that negative comments about Nigeria are hindering the inflow of capital into the country.

Sylva stated that exploration was continuing in the North-East region of the country and when completed, the actual volume would be determined.

He said: “The figure is not totally out yet. But from the evaluation results we are getting, the reserve that has been discovered in the North-East is about a billion barrels. Those are the kind of figures we are seeing and we are beginning to understand the geological structure of the region.”

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He further stated that the Federal Government would soon commence the rehabilitation of the country’s refineries, noting that the government was committed to ensuring that the firms returned to oil refining.

He said: “We are going to start the rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt refinery, which is the biggest refinery in Nigeria. If we are able to finish the Port Harcourt refinery we would have achieved a lot as a government. Meanwhile, we are also continuing with studies around Warri Refinery. We are also continuing discussions around Kaduna Refinery.

“For certain, this first quarter, the rehabilitation of Port Harcourt refinery would begin. I cannot tell you for certain when the rehabilitation of the Warri Refinery or the rehabilitation of Kaduna Refinery will start.”

Besides the crude oil issue, Sylva expressed concern that the country’s risks are being aggravated by negative commentaries about the country.

He said: “Technically, our people have become very competent, they can run this industry. But this industry is a combination of two things; technical competence and access to capital.

“We cannot now access capital although we have the technical competence, and one of the things that make it difficult to access capital when it comes to Nigeria are the things that we have out there about Nigeria.

“Actually,  all the time we add to the country’s risk; the perception about Nigeria because we are saying all the evil things about Nigeria and really never dwell on those things that are great about Nigeria.

“Look at us today, since the 1960s, we have made a lot of progress and if you ask me where are the progress I will tell you that Abuja is part of our success stories; a brand new city created from scratch.

“Somehow, we have done a few things well and we must agree. So when we go out there, before the next great edition of NIPS, we must all begin to contribute to the good story about Nigeria. Let’s begin to say some of the good things that have happened in Nigeria. Let’s begin to say there is some good movement in Nigeria.”

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