The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has allayed fear of debt over the Egina Floating Production Storage Offloading (FPSO) project.He gave the assurance yesterday in Lagos during the tour of the project.
Kachikwu stated that the country would not run into debts as alleged, adding that the project is largely funded by third party investments.His explanation followed the fear raised in December 2017 by the Legislative Investigation of Local Content Elements and Cost Variations relating to Egina and other projects.
The motion, sponsored by Senator Solomon Adeola (Lagos West), had raised the alarm.The minister said: "There is no way the country could run into debts at the end of the project's lifespan. There are all kinds of earnings involved, including royalties and taxes, and we need to look into these areas and see what exactly would come to the Federal Government. May be we could have done better in terms of negotiation."
He said the Federal Government was working hard to ensure that projects that are as huge as Egina come on stream as soon as possible."We are going to work hard to push other companies to reach proper terms. Job is still ongoing on the Egina project and we are going to ensure that some of the skills acquired by the workers fit into the country's development.
"The FPSO is a $16 billion investment, outside the Bonga South West and Zabazaba projects. There is still so much to be done to get the policy thrust that would drive investment in the country's upstream sector.
"We have passed the gas and petroleum policy bill and we are working on the fiscal policy. In terms of legislating the policies, the National Assembly is working on the fiscal terms and host community's aspect of the bill," he said.
The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Simbi Wabote, who lauded the project as a landmark achievement in the country's local content journey, said: "One of the concerns in the country's local content policy has been what would happen to the capacity created through the Egina FPSO project."If the Egina project did not come to stay, there would not have been these numerous achievements today."