By CHIKA IZUORA, Lagos And FESTUS OKOROMADU, Abuja
The French government has said that it has set aside about one billion euros to be invested in the Nigeria Oil and Gas industry, stating that Nigeria remains her first economic trading partner in Africa.
France Ambassador to Nigeria, His Excellency, Denys Gauer, declared this when the group general manager, group public affairs division (GPAD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, led a delegation to his office in Abuja.
Mr. Gauer said that French Development Agency has put in place about one billion Euros to encourage French investors to invest in the Nigeria Oil and Gas sector, adding that the French government is also cooperating with the Federal Government in the fight against Boko Haram insurgency.
The French Ambassador commended the Federal Government for stemming the Niger Delta insecurity situation noting that Total, a French multinational Oil and Gas Company, had significant investment equity in the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG) and Egina project.
He however, expressed concern that some other French companies were having challenges with the unclear Nigeria’s fiscal policies in the Oil and Gas sector revealing that some French investors were currently developing wind energy and solar energy in Katsina State.
Earlier, Ughamadu, said the Corporation under the current management led by the Group Managing Director, Dr. Maikanti Baru, was well positioned and open to investment opportunities from the French Government and investors.
Ughamadu noted that with the significant scale down in pipeline vandalism and insecurity which has boosted oil production, global investors such as the French Government can now invest in renewable energy, gas and power infrastructural development, pipeline construction, storage facility and the direct sales and direct purchase of Nigeria crude oil grades.
He said the NNPC as the state owned oil and gas Corporation had global operations and called for closer collaboration between the French government and the Corporation especially in the area of consular services in order to enable NNPC top executives and staff meets their global engagements.
The GGM thanked the Ambassador for the warm reception accorded the NNPC delegation and assured him that with the leadership of the new NNPC management, the Corporation was determined to develop a robust business atmosphere for investors.