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TOTALENERGIES DIVERSION OF $6B INVESTMENT TO ANGOLA: WHAT USE IS TINUBU’S GLOBETROTTING FOR FOREIGN INVESTMENT?, BY ZIK GBEMRE

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Of what use is President Bola Tinubu’s globaltrotting to woo investors if companies in Nigeria are divesting and reinvesting in neighbouring African countries?

Few days ago, Mr Patrick Pouyanne, Chief Executive Officer of TotalEnergies announced publicly of the company of investing $6Billion in Angola on energy projects instead of Nigeria.

The decision, he justified, was due to unstable and fragile policies of Nigerian government, lack of human capital and talent, stifling investment and crises in the South South of the Niger-Delta.

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Though some of the reasons adduced are not genuine. Nigeria doesn’t lack human capital or lack of talent which he perceived as stifling and making the environment unsafe for investments to thrive.

The two major reasons in my opinion are lack of secured environment and fragile/unstable policies due to nepotism and tribalism.

When you appoint people without capacity in sensitive positions in government because they are your tribe’s people or kinsmen then you should expect weak & unstable policies and unsafe environment.

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Every person knows the challenges in the oil rich South South of Nigeria. Just look around the entire NNPCL and its subsidiaries, private oil companies and IOCs. Their top management are dominated by Hausas,Yorubas and Igbos.

Even the workforce is dominated by the three major tribes. As I speak the head offices of all oil companies inclusive of NNPCL and subsidiaries are forcefully taken to Lagos and Abuja where they control the oil and gas companies.

What are the companies really doing in Lagos and Abuja instead of Warri and Port-Harcourt. Everything about the production and export of crude oil takes place majorly in Delta and Rivers states.

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Why flying helicopters from Abuja and Lagos everyday to lift oil workers to Warri in Delta? In US oil companies and corporate offices are in Houston Texas and not in New York City and Washington DC.

In Canada oil and gas companies head offices are in Calgary Alberta and not in Ottawa and Toronto.
Nigeria’s government led by Tinubu knows how to end the crises in the oil South South region of Nigeria but pretend not to know.

The oil rich South South of Nigeria has qualified young people with capacity to perfectly manage all these oil and gas assets but they prefer to shortchange our people. The only jobs available for the locals are grass cutting, housekeeping, surveillance guards, gatekeeping, operation support jobs.

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For example, we have highly talented young people under 40 years in Delta Central area of Utorogu Gas Plant in OML 34 of Delta state that have capacity to be even Chief Operating Officers and be in all executive positions but Nigerian tribalism and nepotism will not allow them.

When I hear Tinubu is attending business summits in overseas I laugh because these meetings are worthless due to many factors. These advanced countries have ambassadors and high commissioners as representatives of their countries and so they see everything outside their shores which they report to their home offices.

The kidnapping, killings taking place in Nigeria are known over the world. With modern intelligence gathering, information flows very fast.
The insecurity in Nigeria is scaring both domestic and foreign investors. No reasonable person will throw his money into the ocean.

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TotalEnergies admitted that South South of Nigeria is the highest oil and gas producing region in West Africa but the nation is shying away from the main issues of insecurity. Every day we hear of armed robberies, killings, kidnappings and all kinds of violent crimes.

I don’t think Kayode Egbetokun should be the officer deserving of the position of Inspector General of Police(IG) but because he was former chief security officer to the President as Lagos state governor, he decided a Yoruba and his man-friday must be there.

Then as IG, Egbetokun has saturated police formations and structures with his tribe’s people as commissioners of police to some sensitive states like Delta,Rivers,Akwa Ibom as “brother help brother”. So the entire country is suffering because of selfish decisions of few individuals in government.

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Insecurity is driving away investors. If the country is safe I don’t think TotalEnergies will carry such big investment worth $6B from Nigeria to Angola. The tribalism and nepotism by Tinubu is scaring away investors to other African neighbouring countries.

Tinubu knows what to do to build sustainable peace but nepotism and tribalism will not allow him. Is the TotalEnergies revelation not a mockery of the nation’s leadership?

Who is CBN fooling with the propaganda of foreign investment outflows in Nigeria surging by 237% in Q1 amid CBN policy?

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Zik Gbemre, is a public affairs analyst
_*May 23,2024*_

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