By Gift Samuel, The Sight News
As the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu on Tuesday held a meeting with the Secretary of Energy of the United States of America, Mr. Rick Perry at the sidelines of the 24th Africa Oil Week in Cape Town, South Africa, the US Secretary of Energy has said that the key message and thrust of the United States administration is to be strategic partners with Nigeria.
While speaking at the meeting, which is part of Kachikwu’s ongoing investment focused international Oil and Gas engagements, Mr. Rick Perry commended Nigeria on the significant steps taken in the Oil and Gas Industry and stated that the United States government has a high level of respect for the people of Nigeria and pledged willingness to continue to encourage US companies to invest in Nigeria’s oil sector.
The landmark meeting which is the first of its kind between the two leaders of the energy sector in both countries since the inauguration of the new administration in the United States comes as a follow up to an earlier meeting that was hosted by the Office of the Secretary of Energy earlier in May 2017 at the United States Departments of State and Energy in Washington D.C. at the sidelines of the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC).
Dr. Ibe Kachikwu restated the positive role the Government has played through the instituting of the Joint Venture cash call payment agreement, ensuring adherence to due process in the sector, promoting accountability, encouraging sanctity of contracts and reviewing the Fiscal Policy to provide incentives for investment in the sector while optimizing revenues for the Government. He also hinted that plans are in place to reduce Government’s role in the sector in order to increase private sector participation.
While discussing issues relating to infrastructural development in the sector, Dr. Kachikwu noted that a comprehensive and holistic infrastructural map which is being developed by the Ministry of Petroleum Resources would be launched in December 2017.
In the same vein, Kachikwu highlighted the local content growth which the Nigeria Oil & Gas sector has experienced, saying that it has moved from 5% at the inception of this Administration to about 40% local content compliance currently.
Rick Perry, in his closing remarks at the meeting informed the Honorable Minister of State, that the United States Government would be willing to assist Nigeria with access to newer technology and skill set training to deepen Nigerian participation and production in Oil and Gas.
He further extended an invitation to the Honorable Minister of State, Petroleum Resources to come to the United States to take a look at the Department of Energy sector laboratories which specifically develop new technologies being currently deployed in Oil and Gas.
Dr. Kachikwu also used the opportunity to invite the Secretary of Energy and his team to participate in the forthcoming maiden edition of the Nigerian International Petroleum Summit (NIPS) scheduled to hold in February, 2018 in Abuja, Nigeria.