By Bassey Udo
Nigeria and Cote D’Ivoire on Friday agreed to collaborate and work together to foster and deepen bi-lateral relations between them.
The partnership agreement was sealed in Abuja during the meeting between the Nigerian Midstream & Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) and the visiting Ivorian delegation of the National Bureau of Technical Studies and Development (BNEDTD).
The NMDPRA Chief Executive, Farouk Ahmed, said in a statement at the end of the bilateral meeting that the strategic goals of the Authority and its gusts were to attract investments to the downstream sector of the petroleum industry, expand the oil and gas infrastructure and make Nigeria a regional hub for petroleum products, while impacting the global market.
The NMDPRA boss encouraged Cote’d Ivoire to take advantage of the vast investment opportunities in the Nigerian petroleum industry through the implementation of the provisions of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) to promote economic growth and sustainable development.
Ahmed said some of these investment opportunities in the industry included supply of liquefied natural gas (LNG), propane and butane to Cote`d Ivoire and other Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) member countries.
The Head of the delegation from Cote d’ivoire, who is also the Ambassador and Director of Economic Intelligence and Monitoring Evaluation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Cote`d Ivoire,Koue Bi Alphonse, said the purpose of the visit was to understudy the operational systems in the Nigerian midstream/downstream sector with a view to expanding and enhancing areas of cooperation between both countries.
The NMDPRA CEO said the engagement with the visiting delegation gave an insight on the workings of the regulatory institutions in the Nigerian petroleum sector and explored ways to widen and enhance areas of further cooperation between both countries.
The ACE assured the team that “The NMDPRA will support and encourage investments from prospective investors in infrastructure, gas refining and transportation.