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Buhari woos investors as stakeholders express concern

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As President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday wooed investors into Nigeria’s oil and gas sector, international oil companies (IOCs) and other stakeholders in the industry expressed concern over the declining foreign direct investments (FDIs) into the country owing to government’s seeming unwillingness to address critical challenges, especially poor operating environment and regulatory lapses.

Coming in the face of looming geopolitical tension, energy transition issues and the nation’s continued dependence on oil, the stakeholders held reservations over current fiscal policies, which they further fear, might turn off investors.

Speaking at the opening of the Nigerian Petroleum Summit in Abuja, the President, who was represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, specifically assured the participants of maximum returns on investments, stressing that the noticeable lapses were being addressed.

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“Nigeria, as a major oil-producing country, remains ready and accessible to legitimate investments from all interested countries, individuals and partners. Let me assure our foreign delegates that their investments are well secured in Nigeria and high returns on investments is always guaranteed,” Buhari stated.

Reports by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) had noted that capital imported into the Nigerian economy declined in the third quarter by 7.8 per cent to $5.37 billion from $5.82 billion in second quarter of 2019 as both FDIs and foreign portfolio investments (FPIs) saw a drop in inflows by 10 per cent and 30 per cent.

Indeed, the oil and gas sector is particularly faced with a bleak future as projects worth over $163 billion remain in limbo amid worsening investment drought.

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