By Daniel Adugbo
Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu met with a delegation of the United States Departments of State and Energy in Washington D.C where reforms and investment opportunities in Nigeria were discussed.
The meeting had in attendance Nigerian officials and the US led by Ambassador Mary Bruce Warlick, Acting Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs at the Department of State who commended Nigeria for the significant steps it has taken to reform the oil and gas industry.
Warlick at the meeting which took place during the just concluded Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) applauded Nigeria for reviewing the National Oil, Gas and Fiscal policies as well as the draft Petroleum Industry Governance Bill and Petroleum Industry Fiscal Bill developed by the Ministry of Petroleum Resources.
The envoy stated that Nigeria remained a critical priority for the US in Africa and bilateral relations which are increasingly rooted in the shared values of both nations.
Kachikwu in his response said that Nigeria under President Buhari has clearly set out what it wants to achieve in the oil sector over the next 4 years through the continuous implementation of the 7BigWins.
He added that the ongoing engagement in the Niger Delta and Oil Producing States was yielding results as evidenced by the near zero militant incidence and normalcy in production activity being restored in the region.
Areas of collaboration the minister urged the US to invest in Nigeria include capacity building, and acquisition of technology.
While reiterating that Nigeria's gas vision was to be an attractive gas-based industrial nation, he further clarified that for Nigeria to successfully attract investments and achieve an aspiration of zero routine gas flaring by 2020, the federal government developed a transparent licensing process for allocating and pricing gas flares, improving access to finance for gas flare monetization projects, providing incentives to investors, and strengthening the capacity of government regulatory agencies to monitor implementation of flare down projects.