•To sign $40bn MoUs with Chinese investors
From Ikenna Emewu in Beijing
The Minister of State for Petroleum and Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, yesterday in Beijing, China gave assurance that the country will export refined petroleum in the next three years.
He gave the assurance in an exclusive interview with Daily Sun after he addressed the business community and investors in the oil and gas sector in the city.
Kachikwu is in Beijing for the NNPC Roadshow for Investors in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector on Monday where he also hinted that the mission he embarked upon with Executive Directors of the NNPC was already a huge success.
He assured that the responses he has got from the Chinese investors were signs that the mission was a fruitful venture as he was certain that after signing an MoU for investment for about $8 billion and some others lined up for the week, the deals waiting to be executed would not be less than $40 billion with Chinese investors.
In an interactive with Daily Sun after his address to the Forum, he clarified that “although MoU was just an indication of interest and starting point, it is the first and most vital step in the commencement of a venture. We have got positive responses and going by what is on ground, there is no going back on the commitments.
China has over time proven its readiness to do business in Nigeria and that is why we started from here after which we will go to India and the Gulf Region. India had in the past been good partners in our oil business, but going there now might not be for investment. We know India has one of the best and most modern oil refineries in the world, so we would go to tap into their intelligence on how to get it right in refining.
“But in China it is the capital to invest and we are not unaware of this, which is the reason we started here and the enthusiasm has been great.
“Right now, even at short notice, the partners are working so hard to ensure I meet President Xi Jinping this week.”
He also clarified that the visit is part of the implementation and follow-up to the visit of President Muhammadu Buhari two months ago.
The NNPC boss also in response to Daily Sun question on the readiness of Nigeria for China that is out to invest in Africa and looking for the best place to go assured the Chinese Government and private investors that Nigeria remains the best destination for them and most assured place with the right laws for protection of their interest.
He said Nigeria is aware of China’s desire for worldwide foreign investment and wooed them to always think of Nigeria first due to the advantage of what he described as the most assuring investment laws and returns on investment.
He however appealed to China and other countries to assist Nigeria in checking crude theft that leaves Nigeria and find destination in many developed economies, clarifying that Nigeria allocates crude sales rights once in a year and warned that any foreign investor approached for crude purchase outside the allocated agents should be wary not to patronise those that steal Nigeria crude and destroy the economy.
On the assurance of local refining, Kachikwu stated that in August the major work in the rehabilitation of the refineries would commence in full force. He said since the work would be done in phases, he is certain that by the end of 2018 the entire work would be have been completed and Nigeria will refine enough for its local consumption and export.
He said the refineries that will be ready then would include private refineries, both major ones and what he called seven modular refineries in the Niger Delta region.