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Tinubu actively seeking ways to grow foreign reserves, stabilise naira – Aide .



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A Presidential aide, Mrs Olu Verheijen has said President Bola Tinubu is actively seeking ways to grow the nation’s foreign reserves to stabilise the Naira and economy.

Verheijen, Special Adviser to the President on Energy, said this in her presentation at the Ministerial Press Briefing on Friday in Abuja.

The aide said since 2016, Nigeria had only accounted for four per cent of Africa’s total oil and gas investments, despite possessing 38 per cent of the continent’s hydrocarbon reserves.

She expressed assurance of the president’s determination to reverse the trend and take decisive steps to ensure a conducive business climate and reposition Nigeria as a preferred investment destination.

“Tinubu issued a Presidential Directive to streamline and clarify the scope of the two regulators in the petroleum sector to provide certainty and create a conducive business environment.

“He also directed the National Security Adviser and me to coordinate enhanced security measures in the Niger Delta.

“Owing to this directive, the pipelines which had been repeatedly vandalised are now enjoying improved uptime; availability has practically doubled since these directives were implemented.

“This has translated to increased liquids of over 200,000 barrels per day being transported over the last six months.

She further explained that Tinubu had also introduced fiscal incentives to deepen Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) penetration.

Verheijen said these incentives were designed to ease the impact of fuel subsidies on transportation cost and enable the displacement of Premium Motor Spirit and Diesel.

She said following extensive engagements, analysis and bench-marking with industry operators and regulators, the President had initiated amendment of primary legislation to introduce fiscal incentives, reduce project execution timelines and promote cost efficiency.

“However, recognising the urgency to accelerate investments to stabilise the economy, Tinubu executed Policy Directives to clearly signal the policy direction of this administration to both the market and regulators.

“The Policy Directives include Fiscal Incentives for Non-Associated Gas (NAG), Midstream and Deepwater Oil and Gas Developments, Streamlining of Contracting Processes, Procedures and Timelines and Local Content Practice Reform.

“Details on the role of each stakeholder are contained in the Policy Directives, which have been Gazetted and will be distributed shortly,” she said.

She promised to follow up on the implementation of the directives, and in return expects the operators to commit to their promises to make the desired investments.

“This administration is focused on enabling transformational economic opportunities to lift millions of hardworking Nigerians our of poverty,” Verheijen said.