Nigeria may miss out on trillion-dollar investments in oil & gas

Oil-rig workersOscarline Onwuemenyi 17 June 2014, Sweetcrude, Moscow – Signs are increasingly showing that the Nigeria may be losing out from billions of dollars worth of investment in the oil and gas industry due to its inability to resolve the fiscal logjam in the proposed Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, currently in the National Assembly.
Meanwhile, stakeholders in the global Oil and Gas industry have said the country can always get the required funds needed to be invested in the sector if she exhibits sense of seriousness and is focused on what she wanted.
This was the view of some of the participants at the ongoing World Petroleum Congress (WPC), which opened yesterday in Moscow, Russia.
The discussants who spoke at a panel discussion on Financing Investment in the oil and gas Industry: Challenges and Opportunities said that there is a lot of funds which runs into several billions of United States dollar that are available for investment in the Oil and Gas industry globally, but that such funds could only be deployed to areas where the environment is conducive and friendly for investments.
Nigeria needs over $60 billion to invest in the Oil and Gas but the controversies surrounding the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB ).  Because of this the international oil companies have held on to their money pending when the bill would be passed.
An expert on the Nigerian oil and gas industry, Mr. Franklyn Brooks, who spoke to the media on the sideline after the panel of discussion said, “We discovered that there are lots of funds that are available which can be invested in the oil and gas sector.  The estimation was that in the next 20 years the industry would require trillions of dollars of investment globally.”
According to Mr. Brooks, it has been established that funds are available to support all the projects that have been earmark to be carried out at different locations around the world. “But the environment must be friendly and attractive for investment for such funds to flow in that direction,” he added.
Also speaking during the discussion of the panelists, the Group Executive Director, Commercial and Investment, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Attahir Yusuf, said there has always been money to fund the oil and gas  industry.
He added that there are so many ways the country could raise money that it needs, adding however that care must be taken to ascertain what is strategically important and viable for the country in the long run.
According to him, “This is very important because as a country we need to have a focus and strategies earmarked for raising funds. The conclusion therefore for us as a country, is that yes we have a lot of funding requirements and we all know that we don’t have all the funding so, we have to look for fund, but the good thing is that the funds are available, so we have to look at our requirements, what is it for, be it exploration, production or infrastructural developments and the call on those that can assist us.”
He added that the discussants looked at a different ways on dispensing of funds based on sectors, from explorations, productions development, and also transmitting the ends products to the communities.
He said, “Funding the oil and gas industry could be carried out in different ways such as through equity financing, bonds and project financing. On equity financing, the country can finance it projects through such arrangement because it does not have enough money, and also cannot afford to waste her scarce resources.
 “There are different ways to assess these funds. We can do so from equity, we don’t have lots of money so, we cannot afford to waste the money. We can go for projects financing, there are criteria for that, and there are peculiar projects for that, so also through bonds.”
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