By Oge Obi

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kackikwu has said that inspite of the seemingly challenges Nigerian business environment might be faced with, the country remains an irresistible business destination for serious investors.

The Minister who spoke with journalists at the 24th Africa Oil Week in Cape Town, South Africa, said that the attraction of investors to a country starts with her resources.  And that this is in addition to infrastructures, returns on investments, among others.

According to him, Nigeria is naturally endowed with very vast resources, thus placing her in a vantage position as an irresistible business environment for most investors.

“It is the assets that are important. And Nigeria is truly blessed with very vast resources that are waiting to be explored.

“When you take the resources out, the issue is that what are the promises? Historically, yes we have struggled with transparency issues, governance issues and all that. But that is something over the last two years we have been very bullish in correcting.

“Returns on investments in Nigeria are absolutely bullish and that is why most oil companies focus on Nigeria despite all the difficulties with securities, militancy, transparency, and governance issues. The returns are very bullish with 25 to 40 per cent category,” the minister said.

Speaking on government’s efforts in building a conducive and sustainable business environment, Kachikwu said that the government has in the past two years put up intensified efforts at tackling some of the impediments on her business environment, which he said has continued to yield some amazing results.

And that one of the things the government has been doing is to look at the physical models and ensure that while it attends those buoyancies, that returns on investments remain impressive.

“For the first time, we are beginning to look at third-party investment in our refineries which has not happened for a very long time.  We are beginning to look at a lot of private sector participation in pipeline infrastructure.

“And when you talk about investment, Nigerian investors are also bullish. Unknown to very many people, over the last five to six years, investors from Nigeria, who are Nigerians are very bullish in their investment both in upstream and downstream sectors.

“In fact, our downstream sector is largely controlled by local investors. And increasingly, upstream marginal operators are beginning to see Nigerian investors who are going to out to invest in some Africa countries.

“The government will continue to create enough enabling and competitive environment for these local investors, Kachikwu said.

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