Nigeria seeks oil, gas investors in bid to become energy-independent
Ibe Kachikwu, minister of state for petroleum resources and group managing director of the NNPC, said talks with investors, both local and international, are already taking place.
The push for more investors, officials hope, will lead to funding that will make it unnecessary for Nigeria's government to be the sole funding source for the nation's oil and gas industry projects. Kachikwu said the next five years will see the privatization of over 3,000 miles of pipeline laid across the country.
Once a good number of new investors are in place, Kachikwu said, Nigeria would be poised not only to supply enough petroleum for its own use, but also for all of West Africa.
"The new model is that refineries would now buy their own crude oil, refine it and make remittances to the Federal Account Allocation Committee (FAAC)," Kachikwu said. "They would operate a semi-autonomy system that would enable them to run in a profitable manner.”
Kachikwu said another program, the Clean Nigeria After Oil Initiative, will be launched next year in an effort to ensure that Nigeria's independent oil companies (IOCs) are operating in ways that will not harm the environment.
“I will engage the IOCs to stand up and get counted in the area of best environmental practices in 2016," Kachikwu said. "This initiative would help the IOCs to maintain a cordial relationship with the communities where they operate, and the communities too would be satisfied with the efforts at the end of the day."