Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, on Wednesday, stated that the Federal Government has commenced the establishment of five oil and gas parks in addition to the gas revolution park in order to yield more revenue in the sector. The parks, according to him, are to yield revenues of copious quantities, while adroitly ensuring companies involved in achieving our aims train local content to be utilised globally. He said Nigeria, with her vast resources, could get to draw in more revenues if her cost of production was considerably reduced to the neighbourhood of $15 per barrel and this would be achieved through the cost reduction initiatives in conjunction with the implementation of the New National Fiscal policy. Dr Kachikwu who made this known in Abuja at the sixth Sustainability in the Extractive Industries (SITEI) Conference: Building Local for Global further said Nigeria could never be an economic power house without a vibrant local economy and defined industrial base. â€œA nation without a solid manufacturing base, is a sure way to maintaining dependency and waste of resources,â€ he added. The minister who centred his keynote on â€œEstablishing the Framework for globalizing our Local Economyâ€ said Nigeria as an emerging economy needed an effective local capital market that is properly regulated and supervised to bridge the huge infrastructure gap that existed in the oil and gas infrastructure sector. He said, â€œThe need to ensure a conducive business atmosphere devoid of infrastructure gaps is paramount to ensuring stability and high productivity and a better framework for globalizing our local economy.â€
â€œAs we contend with financial challenges in revamping our economy, capital market is very crucial to facilitating infrastructure financing and proper repositioning of the economy.â€
â€œWork needs to be done to bridge gap between our local industry and international players through communicating and branding our local content in fostering investment and making the foreign investors see it as an opportunity rather than an obligation.â€
â€œWe are in a phase of development where the issue of infrastructural framework has become critical. Our downstream infrastructure deficit alone requires us to invest around 10 billion dollars in the next three decades.â€
â€œStrengthening liquidity in the capital market is very crucial as doing more to increase capitalisation will bring more activity into the capital market with a multiplier effect on our local economy,â€ the minister said.
Dr Kachikwu said since 2012, when the novel idea of SITEI conference was conceived, the annual gathering has being a platform for stimulating meaningful exchange of ideas and best practices in the industry.