The bilateral trade between Nigeria and the United States of America (U.S.), from January to February this year, has been put at $799.9 million, according to the United States’ Census Bureau.
Besides, Nigeria’s oil and gas business relationship with Houston Texas in 2015 stands at $15 billion.
The Mayor of Houston, Sylvester Turner, who made this disclosure at the 2016 Nigeria Content Investment Forum in Houston Texas, described oil and gas trade between Nigeria and Houston as a success story.
According to him, Nigeria as one of the U.S. largest trade partners, stressing that the country will continue to strengthen ties with Africa’s economic giant.
In a special message to Nigeria’s Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and Houston’s manufacturers, he explained that the existing close ties between Nigeria and Houston has made many oil companies to have office branches or associates in the country.
“330 Houston companies have businesses and trade connection with Nigeria,” Turner said, noting that Houston ranks as Nigeria’s largest U.S. gateway for international trade and for greater partnership.
To further strengthen Houston/Nigeria oil and gas trade, the Houston Mayor said in 2011, United Airlines opened a direct flight to Nigeria from Houston to Lagos, linking the two major energy cities.
“This flight has already promoted robust connections. Houstonians and Nigerians alike have benefited greatly from this connection,” he said.
Also speaking at the event, the Acting Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Daziba Patrick Obah said despite falling crude oil prices, local content policy will be implemented.
He said specific areas of focus for local content development include infrastructure development, fiscal incentives, funding, addressing long contracting cycle and in-country processing of hydrocarbon resources.
“We will accelerate implementation of the Nigerian oil and gas park scheme, to enable our SMEs focus on production and services while we develop infrastructure and facilities to support domiciliation imperatives.
“We will accelerate approval for gas infrastructure projects to make gas available in specialised oil and gas manufacturing and service hub.
The gas infrastructure will assist in meeting the energy and power requirement of businesses supporting the oil and gas industry,” he said.
To support peculiar funding needs of oil and gas service companies, Obah said the NOGICD Act established the Nigerian Content Development Fund (NCDF).
“NCDF provides source of low interest fund for the execution of projects and capacity development interventions in the oil and gas industry.
“NCDF operating model is currently being reviewed to enhance its accessibility by local service companies for their capacity enhancement activities. I encourage you all to approach the NCDMB for details on the operating guidelines for accessing NCDF,” he said.
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