The Ministry of Petroleum Resources says the new National Petroleum Policy will ultimately remove barriers affecting investment and development of the oil and gas sector in Nigeria.
A statement in Abuja on Wednesday by the Director of Press in the ministry, Mr Idang Alibi, said that the policy articulated the vision of the Federal Government for improving the petroleum sector.
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) had on July 19, approved the policy.
The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, had explained that the 100-page document was very comprehensive on all aspects of the oil industry.
Kachikwu had also reiterated that the ministry was pushing for a refining processing environment to move away from exporting to refining petroleum products, given the volatility in crude oil price regime.
Alibi said that the set goals and strategies inherent in the new policy would promote a level-playing field between state owned-enterprises and the private operators in the sector.
“The policy defines the strategy of the Federal Government on Nigeria’s oil resources.
“It establishes the medium to long-term targets for oil reserves growth, utilisation and strategies to be pursued to ensure the successful implementation of the policy in accordance with Nigeria’s national socio-economic development priorities.”
He said that the policy also proposed for a fundamental reforms to improve the operational efficiency and performance of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
He said that the document proposed the long-needed overhaul and modernisation of the existing petroleum industry legislation.
According to him, the policy will be reviewed and updated periodically to ensure consistency in government policy objectives at all times.
He listed the main components of the policy to include governance, comprising legal and regulatory framework; industry structure, with proposal for establishment of a new National Oil Company of Nigeria (NOCN) and restructuring of NNPC into autonomous business units.
Other components of the policy included strategies to develop resources in the upstream sub-sector, development of the midstream operations, and downstream subsectors of the industry.
He said the policy also proposed measures to develop the national human resources, the sector with emphasis on local content and export skills development.
“The policy also highlights internal and external communications strategies and roadmap for its implementation,” he said.