Paris, France — President Muhammadu Buhari has urged investors to explore vast opportunities for human and natural resources in Nigeria while assuring that fiscal policies would be more favourable, predictable and tilted towards creating a harmonious business environment.
The President gave the assurance at meetings he held with Chairman/CEO of Total, Patrick Pouyanne, Executive Vice President, AirBus, Silvere Delaunay, Chairman of the Board of a software company, Daussault Systems, Florence Verzelen, Chairman/CEO of General Engineering and Marketing of Telecommunications Operator, Francois-Regis Teze and Chairman/CEO, Donaflex Automotive, Dr Donatus Nwokoye, a very successful manufacturer.
While speaking at a meeting with the delegation from Total, the President said that the outlook and potentials for growth in the country have remained steadily positive, affirming the government’s commitment to scale up operating standards and policies that encourage mutual benefits.
In a statement, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu quoted the president as saying, “We are very pleased with the evolving trends in technology, which is currently driving development across the world and Nigeria. Nigeria is more a gas country than a crude oil-producing country. In the 80’s we generated more from gas, than crude oil.
“In the ’80s, we were earning more from gas for some years and had put in place structures. We intend to further explore the gas sector. I am pleased with your consistency in staying in Nigeria.”
President Buhari urged investors to take advantage of the natural and human resources in the country, noting that the demographics favour development, with more young people who are eager to be gainfully engaged and trained.
“We need to educate the youth and encourage more skills in technology. Technology has been most impactful in all sectors, including the oil and gas, which has witnessed a rapid transformation in exploration, processing and distribution,’’ he added.
President Buhari thanked the Chief Executive Officer of Total for the company’s consistency and expansion in Nigeria since 1956, and gave the assurance that the government will enhance fiscal stability to encourage investors.
Also speaking, the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Mele Kyari, said Total had confirmed long term investments in Nigeria and had consistently exceeded targets in gas production.
Kyari disclosed that the NNPC had already designed solutions for some of the challenges in the oil and gas sector, particularly on tax.
Responding, Pouyanne told the President that Total is prepared to stay in Nigeria and further expand interest in oil, gas, solar and other endeavours that will directly impact the lives of citizens.
The Chief Executive of Total said investors had been eagerly waiting for the passing of the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, as it will send a strong signal of more predictability.
“Total is very committed to Nigeria. We have no intention of leaving Nigeria,’’ he said. President Buhari also received in the audience the President of Ethiopia, Sahle-Work Zewde who came to brief him on the regional security and political situation in the Horn of Africa.