The Senate on tuesday invite the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources Ibe Kachukwu to appear before its Committees on Petroleum Upstream, Down Stream and Gas to give detailed explanation on the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed in China and the proposed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with India and its anticipated impact on the Nigerian economy.
The development follows a motion by Senator Clifford Odia. In his presentation, the lawmaker said the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources negotiated a $15 billion investment with India where the Indian government would make an upfront payment to Nigeria for Crude Oil purchases.
“The two countries have agreed to sign an MOU to facilitate investment by india in the Nigeria oil and Gas sector and specifically in area such as Refining, Oil and Gas marketing, Upstream Ventures, the development of gas infrastructure and in the training of oil and gas personnel in Nigeria” Odia said.
He noted that the minister also carried out roadshow in China where MOU worth $80 billion to be spent on investments in Oil and Gas Infrastructure, Pipelines, Refineries, Power, Facility Refurbishment and Upstream Financing spanning five years were signed with Chinese companies. “That some of the Chinese Companies involved in the MOU include China North Industries Corporation (NORINCO Group), China Cinda Asset Management Company Limited (CINDA), China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation/Addax Petroleum (SINOPEC/ADDAX) and International Chamber of Commerce/China’s National Development and Reform Commission (ICC-NDRC) Odia added.
The lawmaker observe that outside these MOU for $80 billion investment, the two largest Oil Companies in China, Sinopec and CNOOC signed investment MOUs with the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources committing the companies to further investment in Nigeria’s Upstream Oil Sub-sector to the tune of $20 billion.
Seconding the motion Senator Bassey Akpan said it is time to take issues like this serious. “I believe a time has come to call a spade a spade” Akpan said.
In his reaction the Senate President Bukola Saraki said there is need to get all the details concerning the MOUs from the minister and also encourage the minister for his move to secure such investment. “As we encourage the minister, we hope that the investment will be the one that benefit Nigeria” Saraki said.