By Etuka Sunday
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva yesterday said that the negative portrayal of the country before the International community was halting the needed capital inflow and investments into the country, therefore, should be discouraged.
Sylva said, the country was making steady progress especially in the oil and gas sector, saying that Nigeria has come of age in the petroleum industry, moving from being spectator to active participant in the industry.
The Minister who spoke at the closing of year 2020 Edition of the Nigeria International Petroleum Summit in Abuja, appealed to Nigerians especially writers to project the successes so far recorded in the country, instead of focusing on the negative.
Sylva said, “NIPS is a testament to the fact that Nigeria has come of age in the petroleum industry. We have moved from being spectators. Today we have Nigerians at the core of this industry; they own assets, they are participants in the industry, we now feel that we are of age to reach the rest of the world with our experiences and we have come up with NIPS which we all agree has been a success.
“We have taken note of all the mistakes,all the imperfectons in this years summit despite the overall we believe it has been a success but next year it will be a greater success.
“Those who complain all the time about Nigeria, who writes all the negative things about Nigeria should realise that what we put out to the rest of the world affects us at many levels. Our people are now participants in these industries but one thing is lacking, and that is capital.
“Technically, our people has become very competent, they can run this indisurty but this industry is a combination of two things; technical competence and access to capital.
“We cannot now access capital, although we have the technical competence. One of the thing that makes it difficult to access capital when it comes to Nigeria are the things that we out out there about Nigeria.
“We actually all the time we add to the country risk, the perception about Nigeria because we enjoy saying all the evil things about Nigeria and really never dwell on those things that are great about Nigeria.
“Look at us today, since the 1960’s, we have made a lot of progress and if you ask me where are the progress I will tell you that Abuja is part of our success stories, a brand new city created from the scratch.
“Some how we have done a few things well and we must agree so when we go out there, before the next great edition of NIPS, we must all begin to contribute to the good story about Nigeria, let’s begin to say some of the good things that has happened in Nigeria, let’s begin to say there are some good movement in Nigeria.
“We are not where we want to be, I am the first to agree, corruption is quite pervasive, I am the first to agree, there is poverty I am the first to agree but, we are making steady progress I am also the first to agree,” the Minister said.
He however, said, the recomnendations from the event would be useful for policy making and speedy implementation.
The event was sponsored by the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Total Nigeria, Chevron, Shell Nigeria, LNG Limited, SunTrust Oil, OVH Energy, Huawei amongst others.