Nigeria’s oil firm NNPC had signed a deal with a consortium of local and foreign lenders to develop 36 oil wells that would also boost domestic power generation in Africa’s largest crude producer.

“In a landmark move designed to supplement the Federal Government’s Cash- Call commitment, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC has secured a $1.2b multi-year drilling financing package for 36 Offshore/Onshore Oil wells under the NNPC/Chevron Nigeria Limited Joint Venture” the company said in a statement.

Oil accounts for more than 90% of Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings but the nation’s economy has been badly hurt by the fall in global oil prices since mid-2014, The Guardian Nigeria reported.

Speaking at the ceremony, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, Group Managing Director of the NNPC, described the new alternative funding arrangement as the new contractual model in upstream financing which would serve as a template for future initiative to supplement the Federal Government’s Joint Venture Cash Call commitment.