The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, has blamed Nigerians for the low Foreign Direct Investments in the country.
Sylva, who stated this in Abuja on Wednesday during his closing remarks at the 2020 Nigeria International Petroleum Summit (NIPS), said the negative portrayal of Nigeria by the citizens was affecting investors from coming to the country.
“NIPS is a testament to the fact that Nigeria has come of age in the petroleum industry. We have moved from being spectators. Today, we have Nigerians at the core of this industry; they own assets, they are participants in the industry. We now feel that we are of age to reach the rest of the world with our experiences and we have come up with NIPS which we all agree has been a success.”
“Those who complain all the time about Nigeria, who write all the negative things about Nigeria should realise that what we put out to the rest of the world affects us at many levels. Our people are now participants in these industries but one thing is lacking.
“Technically, our people have become very competent; they can run this industry but this industry is a combination of two things; technical competence and access to capital.
“We cannot now access capital although we have the technical competence and one of the things that makes it difficult to access capital when it comes to Nigeria are the things that we put out there about Nigeria.
“We actually all the time add to the country’s risk. The perception about Nigeria because we enjoy saying all the evil things about Nigeria and really never dwell on those things that are great about Nigeria.
“Look at us today, since the 1960s, we have made a lot of progress. Somehow, we have done a few things well and we must agree so when we go out there, before the next great edition of NIPS, we must all begin to contribute to the good story about Nigeria. Let’s begin to say some of the good things that has happened in Nigeria. Let’s begin to say there are some good movement in Nigeria.
“We are not where we want to be. I am the first to agree. Corruption is quite pervasive. I am the first to agree. There is poverty. I am the first to agree but we are making steady progress. I am also the first to agree” he said.
The Minister also blamed people from the Niger Delta for driving away investors from the region with hostilities. He harped on the need to create friendly business environments.