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CBN GOV SLAMS SHELL, AGIP OVER OIL DRILLING PACT

By NBF News
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Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mallam Sanusu Lamido, has carpeted Shell and Agip, among other oil companies, for refusing to re-negotiate the offshore oil drilling agreement with the Federal Government.

Speaking as a panelist at the ongoing 17th Nigerian Economic Submit, in Abuja, Lamido also accused home countries of foreign oil giants of supporting them.

Said he: 'Some of you may not be aware that for deep offshore well drilling, Nigeria as a country gets zero per cent. You don't except the Shell or Agip companies, owned by oversea national, to want to re-negotiate terms of contract agreement against their own home companies, when they view that such re-negotiation is against their companies' interest.

They will not support you. It's left for the Nigerian government to say this is 2011, the cheating is enough; we should re-negotiate. If they refuse, they can be out of business if they wish.'

Also commenting on the topic, 'Nigeria's place in the Global Economy,' the CBN governor lamented that 50 per cent of tomatoes cultivated and harvested in Kano, rot away because there are no preservation plants to can them.

Regretteing that Nigeria imports tomatoes from Italy and China, he queried why the government cannot invite these investors to Nigeria.

The CBN governor suggested Chinese and Italians come over to Nigeria and invest in these areas, while the government provides enabling environment.

Lamido frowned at the refining of petroleum products in Europe and other countries, which provides job for youths of these countries, while Nigeria, which is a major oil producer, imports the finished product.

Earlier, the lecturer, Mr. Daniel Zelikow, global head, JP Morgans International Public Sector Group, had said that Nigerian challenges would only last a while.

Praising the Federal Government for taking the right steps towards reformation, he, however, wondered how the risks would be managed in poverty alleviate programme. He wondered if government was willing as well as have the capacity to eradicate poverty.

Zalikow lamented that while Nigeria exports crude oil to the United States and other nations, it does not even have domestic trade within itself.

'Nigeria can regain its efforts by exporting palm oil and groundnuts, as done in the early sixties and address the issue of corruption, which, at the moment, is high,' he said.

He also suggested that the country concentrates in its area of specialization, like making starch out of cassava and investing in the canning of tomatoes and textiles, etc.