By Okechukwu Nnodim, Abuja
The prolonged delay in the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill will end soon as it will become a law this year, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has said.
He stated that his ministry would work to increase the revenue of the Federal Government, adding that more investors would be attracted to the country this year.
Kachikwu, who stated this in a video posted on his Twitter handle on Tuesday, said, “In 2017, we are going to be running with a rocket pace. We’ve seen that there’s so much to do and, henceforth, we are going to firm up our policies. We will be able to guide all our oil and gas policies and pass the PIB.
“We are going to accelerate the Federal Government’s revenues, and look into areas where we could have made more money so that we can support the 2017 financing. We are going to attract investments and complete all the MoUs (memoranda of understanding) that we’ve been signing; the one in China and India. We are going to do roadshows in the United Kingdom and the United States.”
The minister stated that there would be a gas revolution in Nigeria this year as gas flaring would be reduced and the refineries revamped.
Kachikwu said, “Gas revolution is going to be key for us. First, we would like to track gas flare and commercialise it so that no more flare happens in this country. We’ve set a 2020 date for ourselves on this.
“We need to start the revamp of the refineries. The President has given us the marching order on that. We are still committed to our goal of 2018 to reduce importation by 60 per cent and to exit the importation of petroleum products substantially by 2019.”
“We are going to continue to focus on downstream issues, because although we’ve liberalised, there are still some challenges. We are going to see how to work within the liberalisation infrastructure so that we will be able to take away the low-hanging difficulties.”
On the crisis in the Niger Delta region, the minister said his ministry would partner the Presidency in resolving the issues in the area.
“We are going to have to focus on the Niger Delta. It is a proven lingering issue and so we are going to work with every aspect of the Presidency to try and find solutions to this,” he said.