The Federal Government of Nigeria on Thursday reached out to Spanish investors in an effort to entice them to participate in Nigeria’s 2022 deep offshore mini-bid round.
According to The PUNCH, the government also announced that Spain would provide Nigeria with support in the area of oil and gas sector security.
During a meeting between the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Spain, Jose Albares, who led a large team of significant investors from his country to Abuja, the investors were wooed in the hopes that they will invest.
In addition, senior officials from the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources were present at the meeting. Also present were the chief executives of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, and the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited.
The NUPRC had promised that the bid process would be competitive and transparent when it announced the beginning of the 2022 deep offshore mini-bid round on Wednesday. This announcement marked the beginning of the bid process.
Sylva stated in his speech at the meeting on Thursday that “as a nation, we need all the investments we need. Our economy’s backbone is the oil and gas industry, therefore when investors from a wide range of countries come here, Nigeria has a significant investment potential.
“For the (Spanish) minister to come with these array of potential investors, then I’m sure that we have potential of having a lot of investments coming into Nigeria from now. The NUPRC has already pitched, they are already in the process of having a bid round.
“And with these number of potential investors on the table, who are people that they (NUPRC) ordinarily would have to meet in their country. Usually, before any bid round, you will have a road show.”
Sylva added, “What is the road show about? You are supposed to go and meet your investors. But in this case, the potential investors are here by themselves. So you can see why this meeting, for us, is very important.
“As a country, we need a lot of investments, we need FDIs (foreign direct investments) and Spain is one country that we believe can give us a lot of that investment to help in the development of this country. This is more of an economic diplomacy.”
The minister stated that in order to develop Nigeria’s enormous gas resources, the Federal Government was also looking to Spain.
He said, “We are focused on the development of gas. We have a lot of gas resources and we need these resources to be developed. I told the Spanish minister that today we have proven gas reserves of over 200 trillion cubic feet of gas.
“We also believe that with focused exploration for gas, we can increase this reserves to about 600TCF. How do we develop this gas? We need investors and Spain is one country that we are looking towards to bring the investments into this sector.
“It is going to be a win-win for both countries, because Europe also requires the gas. We’ve always been shouting that energy transition programme should be more mindful of the development of gas as well,” he added.