Nigeria’s advice on oil matches our plans


04-July-2012

Mr Oyateru and President Michel pose for the photographer after the former had presented his credentials

Mr Oyateru was speaking at State House after presenting his credentials to President James Michel, with whom he said they talked about hydrocarbons among other topics which he also shared with Vice-President Danny Faure.

When the local media asked him to suggest the best ways to invest our potential oil wealth – making use of lessons from his oil-rich country, Mr Oyateru’s suggestions matched what Mr Michel told the international media not long ago when reporters asked him how Seychelles will handle the environment when oil exploration begins, and how the country will use money from the resource.

Nigeria is trying to use its oil resources to diversify into other sectors to help when the oil reserves run low, and in ways that will benefit Nigerians, said Mr Oyateru.

“Seychelles should also spend some of the wealth in the important area of human resources development because there is no substitute for competent and highly skilled manpower,” he said.

The Nairobi-based high commissioner also pledged to take cooperation between Seychelles and Nigeria to greater heights while sharing ideas on fisheries, tourism and coastal management in which he said we are well advanced.

In his interview with the world media during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting  in Australia last year, Mr Michel said he plans to ensure some of the wealth will be kept beyond the reach of people’s pockets, for our future generations.

“We are very environmentally conscious and we would like to preserve the pristine environment of our country,” he told reporters.

“I have already started discussions with the Norwegians because they have a very good system via their sovereign fund which ensures no one can pocket the oil revenues.

“I have started drafting sovereign oil fund legislation for Seychelles. We will know exactly which money belongs to the people, a certain amount will be allocated to development projects and the bulk of the money will go into the sovereign fund which should be used for future generations and ensure continued sustainability. This is the aim of my presidency and we will succeed in it,” he said.

Oil and gas exports account for more than 98% of Nigeria’s export earnings and about 83% of federal government revenue, generating more than 40% of its GDP.

The resource also provides 95% of foreign exchange earnings, and about 65% of government budgetary revenues, making Nigeria the tenth most petroleum-rich nation, and by the far the most affluent in Africa.

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