——-By Shedrack Onitsha——–
Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa has urged the National Assembly to speed up the process of passing the Petroleum Industry Bill in order to boost investors’ confidence in the oil and gas sector.
Governor Okowa made the call Tuesday, at Asaba when he received on courtesy call, Nigerian Ambassador to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Ambassador Francis Efeduma.
The Governor said; “we will continue to call on the National Assembly to speed up the issues concerning the Petroleum Industry Bill because, it is important for further development, particularly in the gas sector.
“The gas sector has a lot of potential particularly in the petro-chemical industry and it is our hope that we will look very strongly in this direction.”
“I believe that with a well spelt out rules of engagement in the PIB those investments in the gas sector, even for local consumption and to power our energy sources, will be very important and also, further processing of the gas for various petro-chemical industries,” Okowa stated.
He noted further that, “there is no doubt that our key areas will be in the oil and gas sector, principally at this moment is the fact that the gas sector is not truly developed, it is our hope that very soon the National Assembly will get through with the Petroleum Industry Bill because that is also key for any new investment to come in.”
“Nigeria is still very attractive for foreign direct investment; I think we are lucky that as at today, we are able to stabilize our forex policy; with a stable currency, it becomes easier for the investors to plan and now that it is stabilized, a lot of work is being done towards ensuring some reasonable stability in the years to come concerning our energy source.
“I believe too that we are going to become more attractive because of the population of this nation being the most populous African nation, obviously, is a nation that many investors will be attracted to.”
He noted that Delta State is investor-friendly with a lot of potentials waiting to be tapped, adding that apart from the oil and gas sector, the state is rich in soil for the cultivation of rice, palms, cassava, among others.
Earlier, Ambassador Efeduma informed the Governor and members of the state executive council who witnessed the event, that as the Nigerian Ambassador, he would ensure good diplomatic relationship and also, ensure that investors are attracted to the country.