Nigeria to re-direct JV cash call funds to critical areas

Nov 05, 2007 01:00 AM

President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua said on November 1 that one of the major aims of oil sector reforms being undertaken by his Administration is to re-direct the huge resources currently committed to settling cash call obligations to the major oil companies, to other critical areas of national need such as the urgent rehabilitation of the power supply, education and health sectors.
Speaking at talks with President Horst Koehler in Wiesbaden, Germany, President Yar'Adua said that his Administration wanted oil companies in the country to now fund joint venture projects with funds raised from the international finance market instead of relying in great part on contributions from the Federal Government.

"Part of the reasons why we are restructuring our oil sector is to free the resources that we pay the oil companies under joint venture agreements for critical areas like power, education and health.”
"We want the oil sectors to go to the markets to source funds. We are also adopting the same approach for other areas that can attract investments so that we can channel the resources that will become available to areas requiring urgent attention," President Yar'Adua told the German leader.

The President told Mr Koehler that a high-level team of Nigerian energy experts will visit Germany very soon to follow up on his talks with their German counterparts and investors on the establishment of a partnership for the development of Nigeria's power sector.
"There are two major challenges for the world today. The first is security and the second is power and energy. The second concerns us more in Africa because we need massive investments in power supply to achieve any meaningful development. Our partnership with Germany, which will be mutually-beneficial, has the potential to help us meet this challenge," President Yar'Adua said.

He told President Koehler and other German government officials at the talks that his Administration was in the process of reviewing all existing regulations that hinderinvestments in Nigeria, saying that his government was determined create conditions that will boost the confidence local and foreign investors in the Nigerian economy.
On the Niger-Delta, President Yar'Adua said that his Government hoped to conclude ongoing consultations with stakeholders in the region very soon and host a summit of Niger Delta Stakeholders in December as a prelude to the take-off of the implementation of the 15-year strategic master-plan for the region under the 2008 national budget.

President Koehler commended President Yar'Adua's initiatives for the resolution of the Niger Delta crisis and pledged his government's support for efforts by President Yar'Adua to address Nigeria's power supply problems.
Both leaders looked forward to fruitful talks at the Partnership with Africa Forum which opens at Eltville, Germany with other African leaders in attendance.

Source / Nigeria First
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