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Nigeria oil pledge to Kenya draws criticism

10 September 2013, 16:26 Auhustine Osayande

Abuja - There is an uproar in Nigeria after their Minister of Petroleum Resources, Deziani Alison Madueke, urged entrepreneurs to invest in Kenya’s budding oil sector.

Kenyan recently solicited the support of the Nigerian government and the business community to develop about 44 of its newly discovered oil wells.

During his official visit to Kenya, Madueke, said she would mobilize Nigerian firms to take advantage of the oil well business potential in the country.

Expressing his views on the matter, Mike Okelue said the Minister’s plan to urge Nigerian investors to bankroll Kenya when several oil wells in the country were still undeveloped was “unpatriotic” and not in the best interests of the country.

"What the minister says she will do on this issue of oil wells in Kenya is either a mere attempt to deceive the Kenyan government or a display of incompetence and lack of patriotism.

"How can the Minister talk about allowing our business community to take their investment elsewhere when our oil wells are lying fallow and underdeveloped?"

"In any reasonable country or society, the Minister would have been sacked for making such utterances. I personally demand that the Minister apologises to Nigerians on this matter," he said.

An industry stakeholder, Sam Omotayo, said it was “unfortunate” for the Ministers to make such pledges to Kenya when the country was in dire need of investors especially in the oil sector.

Omotayo urged the business community to ignore the Minister if she eventually approached them.

He urged entrepreneurs to emulate such business leaders as Aliko Dangote and several other Nigerians who are making efforts to build refineries in the country.

"It is very unfortunate that the Minister made such promise to the Kenya government. About 80 percent of our oil wells are not untapped. Only two refineries are working at half capacity in the country, oil companies are pulling out and yet the minister thinks it will make good business sense for our businessmen and women to invest elsewhere."

"This is really a bad development for the country," Omotayo said.

- CAJ News



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