The Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has tasked private investors in the petroleum sector to actively invest in exploration and production of crude oil, by tapping into opportunities available in the sector.
Kachikwu, who disclosed this at the 50th anniversary celebration of SAIPEM in Lagos, called on investors to take a cue from the major infrastructural designs, which the administration of President Buhari Muhammadu is currently embarking on in the sector.
He stated that the present administration is trying to institute professionalism and policies that would continue to bring development to the Niger-Delta and calm the nerves of those who believe that they have entitlement to the resources of the state.
Kachikwu lamented that there is a huge challenge for the economy where much concentration is given to production of crude oil without considering the reserves.
He added that in the Gulf States they have moved away from relying on oil to carve new ways of creating wealth for future generations.
Continuing, the minister advised SAIPEM to move away from contracting to exploration and production, while commending them for their training policies which he said are robust.
He added: "I urge you to take along younger companies that are the foothold of growth who are dependent on you to find their footage in the oil industry. I want SIAPEM to look at what we are doing with refineries, apart from being contracting companies and apart from been able to invest in some of these facilities that are essential for the growth of this country, I am looking forward to SIAPEM to continue to ensure that training policies are robust.
More importantly, as we want you to continue the training with oil producing communities because the realities of the last two years is that unless you are able to manage the oil producing communities, and invest sufficiently in those areas to calm the nerves of people living in those communities, oil production will continue to suffer. We have tried to manage to calm the nerves. You and I have a lot of work to do in the next one and half year."
In his remarks, the Managing Director SAIPEM Contracting Nigeria Limited, Guido D' Aldisio, expressed delight over the successes that the company has recorded in the past 50 years, stating that the company has been part of the oil and gas business in the country.
He also stated as part of the company's contribution to the economy, they have provided employment opportunities to Nigerians, stressing that despite the crisis in the sector, they have remained an integral part player.
Aldisio remarked that as part of the company's development drives, they have built one of the biggest fabrication yards in River State which he said that they would leverage using the company's large workforce in order to drive growth in the sector.
He added that the company has been involved in onshore and offshore drilling, offshore and onshore construction work, deep water and shallow water projects, building of power plants, building of refineries, and major offshore projects in the past 50 years.
"Our strength is mainly our business model, workforce and investments. Our business model is not hire and sack. Our motto for 50 years is that we are here to stay and contribute the economy. We have had challenges, but we continue to grow because of our faith in this country," he said.