By Michael Eboh & Grace Udofia
ABUJA — Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, yesterday, allayed fears that the volatility in the price of crude oil in the international market would plunge oil and gas companies and financial institutions in the country into bankruptcy.
According to him, Nigerian companies are resilient and will survive the plunge.
Speaking at the closing ceremony of the Sixth African Petroleum Congress and Exhibition, CAPE VI, in Abuja, Kachikwu, however, stated that only companies willing to embrace new technologies and adopt innovation would survive the difficult operating environment.
Kachikwu further noted that as parts of strategies to survive, the Federal Government was driving oil companies operating in the country back to full time work, while also looking at alternative funding sources for some of its oil projects and partnerships.
He said: “I think anybody who wants to survive in this climate today would need to put on the hat of thinking. It is not business as usual, but people are going to survive.
“The nice thing about adversity is that you get to make huge successes also. Companies that are ready to embrace new technologies and strategies and new ways of doing things are going to survive.
“It is not going to be for too long. Nigeria, for example, has put its strategies around getting the oil companies back to full time work, and we are still looking at alternative funding sources, we are still looking at diverging more into our gas products to complement our oil production. New ideas of how to survive and how to multiply the sort of income that is available to you is key to survive. I think Nigerian companies are very resilient, they will survive.”
On fuel crisis
Also speaking on the unending fuel crisis in Nigeria, Kachikwu said the Federal Government was considering deploying information technology in the Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, supply chain to end the perennial fuel queues witnessed across the country.
He said the Federal Government planned to computerize the supply process from export of the product down to the sale of the product to motorists.
According to him, computerisation is one of the key initiatives that are being considered in tackling the fuel shortages, especially as it would enable the tracking of products discharged from oil vessels and tankers to depots; then what was loaded from the depots by trucks.
He added that it would also help track what the trucks deliver to petrol stations and what was purchased by motorists.