The Iranian Ambassador to Nigeria, Muhammad Alibak, has disclosed that the Iranian Government has expressed its readiness to collaborate in developing Nigeria’s oil and gas downstream division.
Alibak made this known when he hosted some members of the Nigerian House of Representatives; Hon. Ikenga Ugochinyere, Chairman, House Committee on Downstream Petroleum and Hon. Aliyu Mustapha in Abuja, the Vanguard reports.
He explained that the assistance would include refineries and other related infrastructure, noting that Iran is ready to support the Nigerian Government in addressing its energy challenges through collaborative investment and cooperation.
According to the ambassador, Iran has enthusiasm to bolster Nigeria’s oil and gas sector and explore alternative energy sources.
He added that areas of collaboration included Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) projects, refinery improvements, petrochemical ventures, and impactful exploration initiatives.
Alibak expressed the unwavering commitment of Iran, exemplified through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), previously signed by the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mr Timpre Slyva.
The ambassador also highlighted subsequent correspondence from Iran’s current Oil Minister, demonstrating their determination to collaborate closely with Nigeria.
In his remark, Hon Ugochinyere said that the purpose of their visit was to solidify deeper cooperation based on Iran’s long-standing willingness to contribute to Nigeria’s growth and expansion in the downstream sector.
The lawmaker said sequel to the enacted Petroleum Industry Act (PlA), “there are many opportunities within the downstream and midstream oil domains.”
He sought enhanced investment collaboration with Iran in terms of technology transfer that would fortify the ongoing evolution in the oil and gas sector.
He commended Iran’s resilience in maintaining local petroleum refining and expanding refining capacity even amidst global economic sanctions and its successful utilisation of gas resources, leading to widespread connectivity to refined gas and enabling economic growth.
According to the lawmaker, closer collaboration with Iran, a country that successfully overcame challenges including global sanctions, could strengthen Nigeria’s energy security, exploration activities, local refining, and overall industry growth.
The chairman assured that the Nigerian Parliament would vigilantly oversee the implementation of the PlA, ensuring its intentions so upheld with unwavering consistency.
He encouraged Iranian investors and oil companies to capitalise on the transparent and competitive market environment, leveraging the newfound stability in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector and investing heavily.
Also speaking, Mustapha expressed the urgent need for Nigeria to transition from exporting crude materials to refining locally.
“This transformation would pave the way for job creation, forex generation, energy security, and greater economic stability.
“This is further made possible given the removal of subsidies and the resulting volatility of Nigeria’s oil and gas sector and the potential opportunities presented by the PIA,” he said