Indonesia seeks more crude from Nigeria – Ambassador

  • As U.S Govt partners Lagos Govt on ports administration, infrastructure development

Indonesian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Harry Purwanto, on Wednesday indicated his country’s interest to purchase more crude oil from Nigeria.

Purwanto declared the South-East Asian country’s interest in Abuja when he paid a courtesy visit to the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Dr Maikanti Baru.

In a statement signed by Mr Ndu Ughamadu, Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Purwanto, said Indonesia looked forward to lifting crude oil directly from Nigeria, rather than through a third-party as is currently the case.

He said his country’s president Joko Widodo, had instructed Indonesia National Oil Company, Pertamina, to direct its attention to Nigeria in its quest to meet that country’s surging energy needs.

Purwanto, according to the statement, extended an invitation to the NNPC to grace the Indonesia-Nigeria Business Forum holding in Lagos.

The statement said a Memorandum of Understanding, on possible areas of co-operation between the two countries was in the works.

Ughamadu said the call by the ambassador signified the prospects of soaring Nigeria’s market share in Asian emerging economies which include China and India, having lost grounds in crude oil sales in the U. S. due to shale oil exploration.

He said although Indonesia produced 900,000 barrels of crude oil per day, it supplements its 1.4 million barrels per day consumption with supplies from Nigeria, 18 per cent and Saudi Arabia, 28 per cent.

In his response Baru said NNPC was interested in working with Indonesia on its initiative to replace firewood and kerosene with Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) as primary domestic fuel for cooking.

He acknowledged that the corporation was aware of the huge success of the kerosene substitution programme in Indonesia and would like a collaboration to help Nigeria achieve a similar feat.

Baru added that the NNPC would like to partner with Indonesia in the area of bio-fuels production to diversify the nation’s energy mix and meet its energy needs.

He challenged Indonesia to consider participating in an upcoming bid round in order to realize its aspiration of maintaining a presence in the Nigerian oil and gas sector.

In the meantime, the United States of America Government on Thursday indicated its readiness to facilitate and develop trade, investment, commercial ties and technical exchange with the Lagos State Government.

Ms Audrey Edmonson, the Commissioner, Miami-Dade County of Florida, made this known in Lagos.

Edmonson spoke when she led the U.S Trade Facilitation Group on a courtesy visit to the Lagos State Deputy Governor, Dr Idiat Adebule.

The delegation comprised of American Economic Development Agencies, Multi-Sectoral Business Technocrats and Port Miami officials.

Edmonson said that the two governments had in November 2016 signed an agreement to assist each other in trade development, especially in ports administration and infrastructure development.

According to her, the visit is to strengthen agreement and have concrete bilateral ties with Lagos State.

”We planned to visit 35 cities in Africa including Lagos on fact-finding on areas of possible collaborations.

”United States is interested in collaborating with the Lagos State Government and Nigeria, especially in ports administration.

”We are here to tell you that we are willing to work with the Lagos State Government and Nigeria as a whole; we want to strengthen our agreement in ports administration,” she said.

Edmonson commended the state government for its urban renewal and infrastructural development programmes.

She said that the rapid transformation in the state within the last two years had clearly demonstrated the government’s genuine commitment to improving living condition of the citizens.

”We are pleased with the transformation that we have seen so far in Lagos State.

“We believe Lagos is Nigeria and your projects will go a long way to impact on the lives of the people,” she said.

The deputy governor, while receiving the delegates on behalf of Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode, said that positive partnership was key to developing any nation.

She said that the state government was ready to partner with any country to further boost and develop all the sectors of the economy.

According to her, the new trade agreement will help to scale up its infrastructural development programmes, boost the economy and enhance good governance.

Adebule urged the team to also consider healthcare, environmental management, tourism, agriculture, energy and transportation as possible areas of collaboration.

”The state government will continue to provide friendly business environment for trade and commerce, so that investors can get quick returns on their investment.

”Also, adequate provisions for security and legislation have been made to protect and promote business development in the state,’’ she said.

Additional report from Nation