…As NITDA DG says ‘Don’t over rely on oil as sole revenue source’***
Experts at the ongoing Nigerian Oil and Gas conference and exhibition in Abuja on Wednesday advised oil companies to ensure judicious use of alternate money applied in financing projects in the sector.
They gave the advice at the panel discussion on the topic: “Maintaining Nigeria’s position as the oil and gas investment destination of choice”. The theme for the 2019 Nigerian oil and gas conference and exhibition was “Promoting investment and collaboration in the oil and gas sector.”
Mr Patrick Olinma, Executive Director Total Nigeria Plc, said that companies which opted for alternative financing for implementing projects must respect all aspect of the contract.
According to him, whatever project funded through alternative finance must be clearly dictated.
“Alternative financing is not a bad idea but the truth is that there must be respect for contracts you are doing with such money.
“Most important thing is that the projects must not be complicated,” he said.
Mr Bello Rabiu, Chief Operating Officer Upstream, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), said that alternative financing emerged due to poor funding in the industry.
“It is a temporary measure to get work done but the most important thing is a holistic approach before accessing the fund.
“Also, Mr Paul Garth, Chairman and Managing Director, Mobil producing Nigeria, said government and companies should be careful while going for alternative sources to finance projects.
“You must recognise when to use such funds, be careful while using it, if not you may be mortgaging the future of the company.
“You must go in with clear mind of what you want to do with such funds,” he added.
In another development, the Director-General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Dr Isa Ali Pantami has advised Nigerians not to over rely on the nation’s oil, as the only revenue source.
Pantami gave the advice in a goodwill message at the Nigeria Export Summit Award with the theme: “Powering and Digitising the Economy”.
The NITDA director-general, at the summit organised by AFRITEX in Lagos, said that Nigerians should rather embrace Information Technology (IT) as the viable alternative.
AFRITEX is an organization working with stakeholders in promoting a digital economy for Nigeria and Africa at large.
Pantami, represented by Mrs Chioma Oke-Aguguo, said relying on oil was no longer good enough, adding that IT was the new oil.
The director-general urged Nigerians to key into the digital world.
He said that technology would accelerate the economic growth of a nation more than the oil.
According to him, the global economy is not just an economy, but digital economy and that the biggest economy are those that advanced in technology.
”We need to utilise technology that will assist us in agriculture, education, banking, health, insurance, logistics to make use of efficient and flexibility that meets the demands of global economy.
“It must be noted that we have been building blocks for economic growth in ICT.
“The biggest economy in the world today are those advanced in technology, for example U.S and China.
“We also found out that internet penetration is the highest in those countries with one of the best infrastructure,” he said.
Pantami said that NITDA, as the foremost ICT agency in Nigeria, was committed to the course of digitalisation spearheading the move of efficient and effective infrastructure.
He highlighted the seven-point agenda pillar and how it had promoted digitalisation in public and government sectors and the economy at large.
Pantami also appreciated the organisers for making ICT a pillar to promote investment in export.