Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) has commended the Federal Government on its improved funding of joint venture (JV) projects in the nation’s oil and gas sector, describing the fiscal measure as desirable for attracting new investments into the sector.

The Managing Director of the company, Mr. Osagie Okunbor, who gave the commendation in an interview in a publication by KPMG, explained that the new approach of the Nigerian government had helped in recording new achievements between the international oil companies (IoCs) and the government in the recent past.

According to him, the new commitment by the government has restored confidence in the nation’s oil and gas sector with the attendant positive implications for improved investments in the sector.

He explained: “I have become more confident of prospects in this sector now more than any time in the recent past. This is essentially because of what we have been able to achieve in partnership with the NNPC and the Nigerian government on the JV funding. Historically, we struggled with all the parties, particularly the NNPC, in meeting cash flow obligations.

“With the very far-reaching steps that were taken last year to reach an arrangement to manage the whole JV funding structure, we have seen far more stability in the NNPC meeting its obligations. We still have a few areas to cover, in particular 2016 arrears, but even that is good progress”, the SPDC boss added.

Expatiating further on the efforts of the government to fulfil its financial obligations in the JV projects and other initiatives being undertaken to make the sector more investment-friendly, the oil and gas expert noted that the environment had become more attractive to investors.

Okunbor said: “What this has done, from a Shell perspective, is that it has actually created much more confidence in the minds of investors. This has been running for a year; so we can say there is some stability and we can seriously consider investments.

“Following a meeting we held recently with Mr President in London, our global CEO has said that if we get all the conditions right, together with our partners, we will be able to make significant investments in the sector.

“That is a major indicator of what we are able to do, but it is underpinned by a lot more confidence in the ability of the country to meet its obligations. I am pretty confident that if we can sustain this momentum, we will see investments flow into this sector. The multiplier effect when this happens will be tremendous”, he projected.