Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday welcomed the commitment of Saudi energy company, Aramco, and Public Investment Fund (PIF) to explore areas of collaboration for investments in Nigeria, including partnership with the NNPC to revive the nation’s refineries.
He said this in Riyadh at a meeting with the Chairman of Aramco and Governor of PIF, Yasir Al-Rumayyan, on the margins of the Future Investment Initiative (FII).
According to a statement by Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, Buhari said Nigeria had a lot to learn from the expertise and professionalism of one of the world’s leading energy companies.
On the need to improve the efficiency of the oil and gas industry in Nigeria, President Buhari said it was noteworthy that Nigeria’s energy company would soon embark on a diagnostic assessment of refineries, pipelines, depots and other infrastructure across the country to ascertain the level of collaboration with the Aramco.
“Nigerian officials are ready to collaborate with you, they will identify their priorities and invite you for a meeting in the country so that you can go round to inspect the refineries and other oil facilities,’’ he assured Aramaco’s chairman.
In his remarks, Al-Rumayyan, affirmed the company’s position to promote business investment opportunities through technology across the energy sector, signifying its interest in Nigeria’s energy sector.
The President instructed the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo and the Group Managing Director (GMD), NNPC, Mele Kolo Kyari, to work with the Saudis and expedite the modalities for investments and collaborations in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector.
Buhari also used the occasion to reaffirm Nigeria’s solidarity with Saudi in the aftermath of recent attacks on Aramco oil facilities, and commended the kingdom’s recovery after the incident.