By Edith Ike- Eboh
President Muhammadu Buhari has reassured international investors that their investments in Nigeria are safe.
Buhari gave the assurance at the ongoing Nigeria International Petroleum Summit (NIPS) in Abuja, on Monday.
The summit which is the 3rd edition has as its theme: “Widening the Integration Circle: Technology, Knowledge, Sustainability Partnership’’.
Represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation Mr Boss Mustapha, he said that Nigeria as an oil producing nation remained ready and accessible for legitimate investment from all interested countries, individuals and partners.
“Let me assure foreign delegates that their investments are well secured in Nigeria and a high return on investment is always guaranteed.
“It cannot get better anywhere,” he said
He added that towards achieving the realisation of a safe and secure investment environment, his administration had taken steps to reposition the oil and gas sector.
The steps, he said include improving the business environment and driving investments in the upstream, midstream and downstream, reviewed and gazette policies and regulations to enhance operations in the sector.
Other steps are to enhance accelerated revolution by developing infrastructure for multi domestic utilisation of LPG and CNG, commence the process of commercialising gas flare.
The rest are to increase gas to power and improve Niger Delta security through capacity building and economic empowerment, enforcing transparency and efficiency in the sector by building capacity, enabling the use of IT and automation and entrenching performance management.
The president noted that increasing refineries production capacity, improving stakeholders management, international relations and bi-lateral coordination and Carry out extensive work for the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) was also among the steps .
The steps he added would open up the oil and gas sector to competitiveness.
In his remarks, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources Chief Timipre Sylva said the Summit was one of those initiatives approved three years ago and had garnered global acceptability within a short period.
He said that the attendance from the African continent and other countries of the world in the first and second editions attested to the fact that the 3rd edition would definitely raise the bar.
According to him, over 45 countries are expected to be represented at the summit.
He thanked the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration for its support to the Nigeria’s oil and gas sector and helping it to take its place in the global energy space.
“Since this administration came on board, you have demonstrated through personal example and conduct that whenever there is a will, there will always be a way.
“This is reflected in the enthronement of discipline, transparency and efficiency in the overall management of the oil and gas sector.
“This has also propelled your appointees to toe the line of probity and accountability by ensuring that your agenda, especially for the oil and gas sector is achieved,’’ he said.
He commended all delegates and participants, adding that NIPS remained a Pan African summit that must be sustained.
He noted that NIPS was designed as a meeting point in the oil and gas industry to introduce and harness new technologies and ideas.
This, he said would lead to development of new strategies that would attract and enhance inflow of foreign investments while improving success rates of indigenous business engagements.
“The Ministry of Petroleum Resources under the leadership of Mr President has the mandate to initiate policies for the oil and gas sector and supervise the implementation of approved policies.
“This, the Ministry had relentlessly pursued since this administration came on board.
“It is gratifying to note that the 1st and 2nd Editions of NIPS have already attracted a lot of goodwill to Nigeria as Africa’s foremost investment destination in the energy sector.
“This 3rd Edition of NIPS will live up to expectation as a truly world class event and promises to take Nigeria and Africa as a whole to the next level in oil and gas business,” he said.
He urged participants to come up with ideas that would help drive the sector in Nigeria and Africa at large. (NAN)