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FG begins $5.1bn debt payment to IOCs

The Federal Government will by the end of this month begin payment of a $5.1 billion debt it owes five international oil companies (IOCs), Minister…

The Federal Government will by the end of this month begin payment of a $5.1 billion debt it owes five international oil companies (IOCs), Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, has said. 

The government had on December 15, 2016 formally exited the joint venture cash calls arrangement it had with the IOCs operating in the country for more than four decades. The companies are Shell, Total, Chevron, ExxonMobil and Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC).

The government exited the arrangement with an outstanding debt of $5.1 billion, agreeing to pay it over a period of five years through incremental oil production volumes.

Kachikwu, who doubles as the Chairman of the Board of the NNPC, spoke at a meeting with top ExxonMobil executives at the company’s headquarters in Texas, United States of America.

He said it would be expedient if the IOCs reciprocated the government’s gesture by ensuring that they ramped up investments in the country’s oil and gas sector. 

A statement by Nigeria’s petroleum ministry spokesman, Idang Alibi, also quoted the minister as sating that government’s effort would be boosted if major IOC partners operating in Nigeria invested in building signature refineries to be run on joint venture basis with the federal government providing the necessary incentives.

Kachikwu also encouraged ExxonMobil to invest in more practical deliveries in the area of human capital development and investment in local growth of skill sets required in the oil and gas sector. 

The meeting is part of the ongoing investment drive embarked on by the Minister to the IOCs. The first of these was with Italian IOC Eni in January 2017 where the company pledged to work with Nigeria to revamp the Port Harcourt Refinery. 

Other IOCs scheduled to be visited include Shell, Chevron and Total.

 

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