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Nigeria’s fiscal policy in oil and gas unclear –French envoy



Nigeria's fiscal policy in oil and gas unclear --French envoy

French Ambassador to Nigeria, Denys Gauer has lamented that some French companies willing to invest in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector were having challenges understanding its fiscal policy in the sector.

According to him, Nigeria’s fiscal policies in the Oil and Gas sector remains unclear , even as he revealed that some French investors were currently developing wind and solar energy in Katsina State.

The envoy also revealed that his country has concluded plans to invest about 1 billion euros in the Nigeria’s oil and gas industry.

To achieve this, the French Development Agency is to work in collaboration with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in setting the investment bond, which will see to the growth of the oil and gas industry in Nigeria faster than being speculated.

Disclosing this in a statement on Tuesday, the NNPC, Group Public Affairs Division of the NNPC, Ambassador Gauer’s office in Abuja, said the gesture would see the oil and gas sector continue to create value-added inputs on the economy, including jobs and impacting positively on other sectors.

Ughamadu stated that the Ambassador assured Nigeria that France is still out to retain Nigeria as its main trading partner in Africa.

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He quoted Gauer as further saying that, “the fund is aimed at encouraging French investors invest in the Nigeria Oil and Gas sector, especially in the light of the fact that Nigeria remains her first economic trading partner in Africa.

But the envoy was quick to express concern over some of the challenges that Nigeria is having in its fiscal policies, as it effects the oil and gas sector.

Gauer added that the challenge had been a major factor delaying more investment coming from his country, though maintaining that despite that, some French investors have been showing interest in other sectors of the Nigerian economy.

The French Ambassador also added that Total, a French multinational oil and gas company, had significant investment equity in the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG) and Egina project.

On the insecurity in the northeast, Gauer said that the French government was cooperating with the Federal Government in the fight against Boko Haram insurgency.

Ughamadu, while expressing appreciation to the Ambaassdor, on behslf of the NNPC CEO, Mr. Maikanti Baru, stated that the Corporation is always open to investment opportunities from the French Government and other countries.

According to him, with a significant scale down in pipeline vandalism and insecurity in the Niger Delta, and which is boosting oil production, time for foreign investors such as French Government to come into Nigeria is now.

Ughamadu named some of the areas calling for global investment in the country to include: renewable energy, gas and power infrastructural development, pipeline construction, storage facility and the direct sales and direct purchase of Nigerian crude oil and gas.

The NNPC spokesman confirmed that the Corporation has international operational structure, though a state owned concern, and called for closer collaboration between the French Government in the area of consular services in order to enable NNPC top executives and staff meet their global engagements.

It would be recalled that in May 2016, Nigeria and Chinese investors signed a $50 billion Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to finance oil sector projects in the Niger Delta area, making the anticipated French 1billion euro investment in the same sector a boost.


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