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NNPC, US Synergize On PIB

Source: EWACHE AJEFU, ABUJA BUREAU CHIEF - thewillnigeria.com
PHOTO: L-R: NNPC GMD, ENGR AUSTEN ONIWON WITH US AMBASSADOR TO NIGERIA, MS. ROBIN SANDERS AT THE CORPORATION'S OFFICE ON TUESDAY, JULY 20, 2010.
PHOTO: L-R: NNPC GMD, ENGR AUSTEN ONIWON WITH US AMBASSADOR TO NIGERIA, MS. ROBIN SANDERS AT THE CORPORATION'S OFFICE ON TUESDAY, JULY 20, 2010.


ABUJA, July 21, (THEWILL) - The United States of America has pledged to work in concert with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, to ensure the success of the energy sector reform as espoused in the Petroleum Industry Bill currently before the National Assembly.

The US Ambassador to Nigeria, Ms. Robin Sanders, made this commitment on Tuesday during a courtesy visit to the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Engr. Austen Oniwon at the NNPC Towers.

Sanders who said the US considers itself as a friend and stakeholder in the Nigerian nation, stated that America would continue to support and remain committed to Nigeria through its international oil companies (IOCs) and would love to see the energy reform sail through.

She said the US has been playing very constructive role in the Nigerian energy sector which has culminated in the signing of five grants for the construction of Independent Power Projects (IPPs) in the country.

The Ambassador explained that her country’s interest in Nigeria was not just because of the strategic position it occupies in Africa and the international community, but because of the potential it has for the future, adding: "We want to be partners in the journey to that future."

Sanders, who said the US looks forward to the consolidation of the amnesty program in order for Nigeria to realize its full production potential in both liquid and gaseous hydrocarbons, also expressed her appreciation to the Nigerian government for its willingness to accept input into the PIB.

While welcoming her, the GMD of NNPC, Engr. Oniwon said he was proud of her achievements especially in getting the US government to have a better understanding of Nigeria and the oil and gas sector, adding that "throughout the difficult period of heightened militants’ activities in the Niger Delta, the US never lost faith in us."

He commiserated with the US government and its people over the colossal loss and environmental damage caused by the oil spillage from BP’s well in the Gulf of Mexico, saying he hoped BP would share the lessons it learnt from the incident with other industry players with a view to averting such disasters in the future.

Oniwon also reassured the US envoy that NNPC was not insolvent and that the PIB was designed to make doing business in the Nigerian oil and gas sector easier and more transparent.