From Fred Itua, Abuja
The Senate, yesterday, summoned the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, to appear before its Joint Committees on Petroleum (Upstream), Gas and Foreign Affairs to give detailed explanation on $15 billion proposed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Indian government and another $80 billion MoU signed with Chinese firms.
The summon followed a motion moved by Senator Clifford Ordia from Edo State who noted that the Minister negotiated a $15 billion investment with India where the Asian country is expected to make an upfront payment to Nigeria for crude oil purchases.
Ordia said the signed agreement with Indian government will facilitate investments in the oil and gas sector, specifically in areas such as refining, oil and gas marketing, upstream ventures, the development of gas infrastructure and in the training of oil and gas personnel in Nigeria.
He explained further: “The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources also carried out a roadshow in China where an MoU worth over $80 billion to be spent on investments in oil and gas infrastructure, pipelines, refineries, power, facility refurbishments and upstream financing, spanning five years, was signed with Chinese companies.
“Outside these MoUs with the two largest oil companies in China, Sinopec and others signed investment MoUs with the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, committing the companies to further investments in Nigeria’s upstream oil sub-sector to the tune of $20 billion.”
In June, Kachikwu announced the signing of a multi-billion dollar deal with several Chinese firms spanning five years in the oil and gas industry, covering pipelines, refineries, gas and power, facility refurbishments and upstream financing. He had said: “I can confirm that we had a successful outing and finally raised investment commitments and signed MoUs worth $80 billion.
“Out of this, $10 billion approximately was raised on the sides with our steer and push for two Nigerian companies – Delta Tek and Salvic Petroleum – while the balance of $70 billion includes MoUs signed by investors and financiers for projects with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).”
Kachikwu is a regular guest in the National Assembly. Early in the year, he appeared before the Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream) over fuel scarcity.
During the exchange of friendly banters with lawmakers, he said he was not a magician and could therefore not end the scarcity. He also appeared before other committees in the Senate to explain certain discrepancies.