The minister of petroleum resources, Mr. Ibe Kachikwu has revealed that council had given approval for the resuscitation of the National Council on the Hydrocarbon, saying it would act as an ombudsman council.
Kachikwu said this after the FEC meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa, Abuja on Wednesday. He also said that council deliberated on the issue of gas flaring and approved a meeting in Nigeria next month to discuss the issue.
This was even as he explained the gains of his recent trip to China.
“Council approves the resuscitation of the National Council on the Hydrocarbon which is an ombudsman council that meets once year in an extraordinary times to just review policies in the sector. “It should be a gathering of people from business, oil sector, oil communities and ministries that are directly or indirectly affected by the policies we role out in the ministry.
“The council had been in existence but in the last couple of years disappeared into oblivion and today the council approved for us to resuscitate that. The criticality is that as we continue the dialogue we have been having with militants, creating such a fora enables anybody who has an interest in the area, to converge and develop the thinking process that will guide policies in this sector.
“Secondly, also gave notations in terms of Vienna meetings, what has happened with OPEC so far and what efforts made in terms of trying to modulate prices beginning with one or two last OPEC meetings, which gave birth to the appointment of the secretary general from Nigeria and the last one in held on the sides of IGF meetings Algeria when we decided to put some ceilings cap to the barrels of oil that we allow to produce over this short period of time with the specific exemptions of Nigeria from those.
“We also gave notifications on the China roadshow earlier in the year where they were pledges of over $70 billion from Chinese private sector companies, in terms of investment potentials and loans to Nigerian companies and the infrastructural roadmap in the country
“Council approved the hosting of international flare reduction convergence meeting in Nigeria on November 30th and December 1st. We will use that as a chance to role out efforts by the ministry to addressing the flare. You are aware Nigeria is next to Russia in terms of the highest flaring nation. Even though we have progressed positively to reduce 70 per cent of the flare, but the 30 per cent we still flare, is about 10 per cent of the world’s flare so is a huge amount of gas.
“Obviously we are doing a lot in terms of gas policies which will embody the flare initiatives but we have signed onto the 2030 world Bank/UN led efforts made in eliminating flare completely by 2030. “The memo was to intimate the council that we have been asked to host the flare conference and council approved the motion to host that.
On China road show
“I think generally when you have MOUs the gestation period spends over a year, because when you have your road show you get your MOUs signed you have to set up teams from both countries on bilateral basis then begin to look specifically on the areas you pledged what are the business incentives, the terms and whether to invest.
“That is still work in progress, we are having a team of over 40 Chinese, members of some of those bodies about visiting Nigeria by the end of this month. We are also setting up a full inter ministerial panel that will be deliberating with them for each of those sectoral investments.
“I will say that the target we had while going to China was to raise $40billion which is the total cost of our infrastructural gap for the oil industry we raised about $75.6billion, $69bn of which were NNPC and government related potential investments and loans and the rest directly to the private sector, if we get even 20% of that, that will be a major achievement for us.
“I will say we have one year period to work on this, we expect that some will come earlier, there are some facility lines that are almost readily available close to about $3 or $4billion but the investment packages will take us time. Realise that this is different from the pledges that were made when the President visited China which was an all African type front basis, this is completely separate.
“I know that that fund, an all African basis which is roughly about $60-$70bilion we just realised the enormity of the sort of success that the road had. So a lot more work is still on the pipeline and how we would now cristalize this into actual investment, but we are encouraged by what we are receiving in terms of the distinction and the contacts. Hopefully by the end of the month when this 40 man team comes we would be able to make substantial progress”, Kachikwu said.