The government’s financing gap is opening up and the reformers are being blocked but the investors keep on coming
Which are the more stunning figures? The billions of dollars of investment sluicing into Nigeria despite its deepening security crisis? Or the billions of dollars of oil and gas revenue that the state is losing through deliberately mispriced contracts, tax evasion and the theft of oil cargoes? The World Bank reckons foreign investment has been running at an annual rate of US$6-$8.5 billion for the past five years. The latest scheme to be announced is a planned $4.5 bn. investment by New York-based Vulcan Petroleum Resources to build six oil refineries able to process 180,000 barrels per day. Vulcan’s Nigerian partner, Edozie Njoku, claims it will take just 30 months to build all six. Vulcan still has to secure final government approval. New refining capacity would, if commercially viable, offer a solution to Abuja’s crisis over subsidising the import of refined products.
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