Oil Production Target: Lokpobiri Woos UAE Investors

By Sunday Etuka, Abuja

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri has invited United Arab Emirates (UAE) investors to see Nigeria as a prime destination, as it works to ramp up its oil production.

Senator Lokpobiri made the call recently when he received the UAE Ambassador to Nigeria, Salem Saeed, along with his delegation on a courtesy visit in Abuja.

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A statement made available on Monday by the Special Assistant to the Minister on Media and Communication, Nneamaka Okafor said, in his discussions with Ambassador Al Shamsi, the Minister emphasized Nigeria’s commitment to increasing oil production.

He stated that while Nigeria is not in a rush to transition away from oil, the country is actively seeking to enhance its production capabilities.

“We are focused on ramping up our oil production,” he explained. “At the same time, we are inviting UAE investors to look at Nigeria as a prime destination. Our business environment is friendly, and our crude deposits are vast”, he said.

The Minister highlighted the benefits of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), which provides a robust legal framework that guarantees returns on investments and has significantly reshaped the oil and gas sector. “The PIA ensures a secure and profitable investment climate, making Nigeria an attractive location for investors,” he noted.

Lokpobiri expressed his pleasure at the visit, viewing it as a significant demonstration of the strong and enduring diplomatic relationship between Nigeria and the UAE.

“The visit from Ambassador Al Shamsi and his team is a testament to the valued relationship between our two nations,” the Minister stated. “It underscores our commitment to transforming our energy sectors for mutual benefit.”

During the meeting, the Minister commended the recent bilateral agreement to restore visa issuance for Nigerians, which had been on hold for some time.

He attributed this achievement to the dedication of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, whose efforts were pivotal in reinstating this important service.

The Minister acknowledged that the restoration of visa services is particularly significant given the high volume of travel between Nigeria and the UAE.

“The restoration of visa services is a critical development that will enhance the mobility of our citizens,” the Minister said. “President Tinubu’s dedication has made this possible, and it will significantly benefit the many Nigerians who frequently travel to the UAE.”

Ambassador Al Shamsi responded positively, stating, “We see great potential in Nigeria’s energy sector and appreciate the steps being taken to create a conducive investment environment. Our countries have much to gain from continued collaboration.”

The Minister assured the UAE delegation of Nigeria’s commitment to maintaining a conducive environment for all investors. He reiterated that Nigeria is dedicated to creating and sustaining conditions that are favourable for investment, thereby reinforcing the country’s position as a key player in the global energy market.

This visit and the discussions held are expected to further strengthen the ties between Nigeria and the UAE, fostering greater cooperation and mutual benefits in the energy sector.

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