MINISTER of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Ibe Kachikwu, yesterday, stated that federal government was on a crude oil output target of three million barrels of oil per day (bbl/d) within the next five years. Nigeria’s oil output had witnessed a steady growth to over 2.1 bbl/d from the low level of 1.4 bbl/d since suspension of Niger Delta hostilities mid last year.

However, Kachikwu said the industry would need to invest $10 billion every year on infrastructure for the next five years to achieve the target.

Speaking at the ongoing 2017 Nigerian Oil and Gas Conference in Abuja, Kachikwu disclosed that the importation of petroleum products would have to cease while efforts should be intensified so that the country achieves self-sufficiency in petroleum products refining.

He said, “Nigeria still remains the only country with the resources that we have, that has continued to import petroleum products. It is a shame on this country, it is a fraud on the system and we have got to end it.”

Kachikwu, however, stated that the Federal Government is committed to its 2018, 2019 template to end fuel importation, to ensure the survival of the petroleum industry and also ensure that the country’s refineries do not become scraps when the Dangote refinery eventually comes on stream.

“Everywhere you looked in the industry – whether it was the organizations that produce oil; whether it was the contractual basis that these things were founded on; whether it was the infrastructure that refused to work; whether it was the savings or investment culture that we had. Nigeria was simply not prepared for an environment of difficulty,” he declared.

Kachikwu noted that there are still some governance issues that needed to be completed, while he hoped that by April, the Federal Government would pay a substantial part of the arrears of the 2016 Joint Venture, JV, Cash Call to bring about a significant increase in Nigeria’s crude oil production.

He stated: “Government is not in a position to fund this infrastructure gap, so we are left with little alternative but to bring in private investors; work out terms that would enable us to begin to massively address the over $35 billion infrastructural gap that is essential for the oil industry to work effectively.

“Over the next four to five years, we need to find a way of bringing into this country an average of about $10 billion of investment every year in infrastructure. And that is essential if we are going to survive. And that infrastructure is going to go into pipelines, settle products all over the country; it is going to go into the refineries.”

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