France to invest €1bn in Nigeria’s oil sector

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Okechukwu Nnodim, Abuja

The French government has announced that it has set aside about €1bn to be invested in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry, and that Nigeria remains its first economic trading partner in Africa.

The France Ambassador to Nigeria, Denys Gauer, announced this when the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, led a delegation to his office in Abuja.

Gauer said the French Development Agency had put in place about €1bn to encourage investors from his country to invest in the Nigeria oil and gas sector, adding that the French government was also cooperating with the Federal Government in the fight against Boko Haram insurgency.

He commended the Federal Government for stemming the insecurity situation in the Niger Delta, noting that Total, a French multinational oil and gas company, had significant investment equity in the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited and the Egina Project.

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Gauer, however, expressed concern that some other French companies were having challenges with the unclear fiscal policies in the oil and gas sector in Nigeria.

He revealed that some French investors were currently developing wind and solar energy in Katsina State.

Earlier in his address, Ughamadu said the NNPC was well positioned and opened to investment opportunities from the French government and investors.

He noted that with the significant scale down in pipeline vandalism and insecurity, which had boosted oil production, global investors such as the French government could now invest in renewable energy, gas and power infrastructure development, pipeline construction, storage facility and the direct sales and direct purchase of Nigeria’s crude oil grades.

Ughamadu 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 the NNPC top executives and staff meet their global engagements.

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He thanked the ambassador for the warm reception accorded the NNPC delegation and assured him that the corporation was determined to develop a robust business atmosphere for investors.

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