News sources have reported Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, of stating that the Nigerian government hopes to attract over $10 billion of new investment in the oil and gas industry over the next five years.

Speaking at the Nigerian Oil and Gas (NOG) conference, Kachikwu suggested that new investments would aim at addressing some of the challenges that the industry is currently facing, including pipeline development.

During his keynote address, Kachikwu expressed his view that it is now time to reduce the cost of crude oil production. He stated: “Between 2015 and 2016, we took drastic measures to moderate crude oil prices […] but between July 2016 and now, there has been lots of stability in the downstream economy. There are still some challenges, but work is in progress.”

According to the Premium Times, Kachikwu claimed that the government’s immediate plan is to increase Nigeria’s oil production from the current 2.2 million bpd to approximately 3 million bpd.

He took note of the challenges that have been, and may continue to be, posed by militant groups, particularly in the Niger Delta region. However, Kachikwu added: “We have set a target of zero militancy for 2017. It is achievable due to lots of community-based activities and motivation.”