Nigeria sees low participation of indigenous firms in oil and gas sector

Oct 28, 2007 02:00 AM

Cross Rivers State Governor Senator Liyel Imoke has expressed displeasure over the low participation of Nigerians in the nation's oil and gas industry. He said only 10 % of indigenous oil and gas companies actively participate in the sector which is the fulcrum of the economy.
The Governor, who was represented by his deputy, Mr Efiok Cobham, disclosed this recently at the official dedication and commissioning of utility vessels for the oil industry by Geo-Fluids Group, at the Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) Quay in Calabar. He however tasked indigenous oil and gas companies to actively participate in the industry so as to leverage the sector.

According to the Governor, GeoFluids Group is a wholly indigenous company, 100 % local content compliant and poised to reinvent the presence of local companies in the sector. But the Executive Director of Access Bank, Mr Herbert Wigwe, who also spoke at the occasion, explained that banks in the country were reluctant to support indigenous oil companies inthe past due to absence of clear policy and lack of depth in the financial services sector.
The bank's chief said there is now a twist following the invigoration of the financial sector which saw banks partnering with indigenous oil companies. According to him, the five years partnership between his company and Geo Fluids has established the former as a major player in the oil industry.

He said local banks now have access to deeper pockets and long term funding to support growth of local players with capacity to take their business to the next level.
"We have supported several Nigerian firms into owing their own vessels. We provide access to funds for companies with relevant skills to play in the market. We see a long lasting partnership between Geo Fluids and Access Bank as they venture in the foreign market".

Source / Daily Trust
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