Nigeria Minister of Petroleum Resources Defends Award of 60% of Oil Contracts to Local Firms
Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, has said the recent award of crude oil term contracts primarily to indigenous oil and gas companies is part of the federal government’s larger objective to encourage effective local participation in the operations of the Nigerian oil and gas industry.
Alison-Madueke, in a statement from NNPC yesterday in Abuja, said the decision to award over 60 per cent of the 2014 to 2015 crude oil term contracts to local firms was taken after a painstaking pre-qualification process.
In the statement signed by the Group General Manager, Public Affairs of NNPC, Ohi Alegbe, she said the balance of 40 per cent was shared among some international oil trading companies, refineries as well as some countries with bilateral trade agreements with Nigeria.
“When we unveiled the Nigerian content law a few years back, the overriding principle was to grow indigenous capacity in an aggressive manner and I am happy to report that today, in the oil and gas sector, Nigerian content has been placed on the path of irreversible progress,” Alison-Madueke said.
She further noted that the lifting award to local players remained in line with the aspirations of President Goodluck Jonathan to effectively transform operations in the country’s petroleum industry.
She stated “We have seen robust indigenous investments in marine vessels of various categories and wholly-owned Nigerians vessels have increased astronomically through the years. These vessels are the category one and category two types. “Investments in reception, storage and distribution facilities such as jetties, depots, trucks, vessels and modern retail outlets have more than doubled over the past few years and this has helped to increase the nation’s sufficiency level in petrol,” she added.
The minister also explained that at the last count, indigenous investments in the sector had created over 40,000 jobs across the hydrocarbon value chain, saying: “We have witnessed increased local investments in asset, in land, swamp and offshore rigs, which are vital performance indicators in business growth in Nigerian service companies. As we speak, Nigerian companies are forging partnerships for deep water rig ownership and are evolving strategies that will increase rig ownership among local players.”
Source: Various Agencies