Nairobi – Kenya has offered its 46 newly-discovered oil blocs for interested Nigerian investors in the oil and gas industry to develop.
Minister of Petroleum Resources Diezani Alison-Madueke announced this on Saturday in Nairobi.
The minister said that the offer was part of the outcome of the dialogue group preceding the Nigeria-Kenya Investment Forum held on Friday in Nairobi.
President Goodluck Jonathan, who concluded a three-day state visit to Kenya on Saturday, and his host, President Uhuru Kenyatta, presided over the forum.
The forum had in attendance more than 500 prominent investors from both countries.
Among the delegates were influential Nigerian business magnates who flew into Nairobi, aboard a fleet of seven private jets.
The Minister said that beyond giving the opportunity to Nigerian investors to acquire the oil wells, Kenya also sought Nigeria’s assistance in the formulation of right policies and framework to manage the sector.
“It is well known now that Kenya had recently discovered hydro-carbon reserves and they are very keen to move quite aggressively in terms of exploration activities.
“They felt as sister African country, Nigeria, having many years of oil exploration and production, that it only makes sense that we exchange agreement in cooperation to hand over knowledge, capabilities and experience learnt.
“They seek various templates that we have formulated including policies, processes and a sort of templates that form Petroleum Industry Bill, among others.
“We also looked at areas surrounding Nigeria’s investments possibilities where we think that Nigerian business men and women could come into the oil and gas sector in Kenya.
“They are very keen that Nigerian operators in the upstream, midstream and downstream service sectors of the oil and gas industry look to Kenya as a burgeonis frontier for investments in the oil and gas sector.
“They are also very keen that we robustly support them in setting up the right framework, policies and processes and technology to help them drive the exploration activities,” she said.
The minister said that among the seven MoUs and bilateral Agreements signed by both countries was that on Oil and Gas which spelt out details of the co-operation.
Kenya recently announced that its oil resources met the threshold for commercial exploitation, raising the country’s hope of joining the league of oil-producing nations.
Specifically, Africa Oil, a Canadian oil and gas company, together with British explorer, Tullow Oil Plc, had estimated Kenyan oil reserves at 368 million barrels, a level capable of commercial exploitation.
Minister of Trade and Investments Olusegun Aganga said the maiden economic forum between Nigeria and Kenya had recorded a huge success in terms of trade and economic development between both countries.
He said the forum was a door opener to new range of opportunities that would increase the volume of trade and value of investments between Nigeria and Kenya, which had hitherto so low.
Nigerian business mogul and Forbes Magazine richest black person in the world, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, who led the Nigerian delegation and chaired the dialogue group, said a number of Nigerian investors would be willing to invest in the oil sector in Kenya.
Dangote, at the forum, announced the decision of his conglomerate to invest 400 million dollars (about N64 billion) in cement production in Kenya The CEO of Forte Oil and Zenon Oil, Femi Otedola, Forbes Magazine’s 26th richest African and Chairman of Honeywell Group, Oba Otudeko, prominent bankers and investors, Jim Ovia and Tony Elumelu were in the Nigerian delegation to the forum.
Minister of Culture and Tourism Edem Duke said more than 70 per cent of interest by the Kenyan business men at the forum was focussed on tourism.
He said the sector, a greenfield and new frontier with low entry barrier, aroused the interest on many Kenyan business men and women.
According to him, the area of focus would be wild life development, horticulture, hospitality, training, leisure and entertainment facilities.