THE Federal Government generated over $2 billion from the renewal of oil block licences, Minister of State for Petroleum Resouces, Ibe Kachikwu, has said.
Kachikwu, who noted that the funds will be used to implement the nation’s budget, said: “We have actually asked for early renewals, because we needed to get money out of it to help finance the budget and from that process, we have actually gotten about $2 billion.”
He said his ministry deliberately put a policy in place to hasten renewals with the purpose of funding the 2019 budget.
The minister added: “I put a policy of early renewals in place so that even blocks that are not due for renewal before 2019 are being renewed right now.”
According to him, only about 30 of the fields, expected to add an about 300 million barrels of crude were granted licenses by Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR).
Kachikwu said about 40 others, as well as mega fields suggested to President Muhammadu Buhari were awaiting approval.
Recall that President Buhari combines his role as President with the position of Minister of Petroleum Resources.
He said the ministry is currently analysing the renewal applications lodge for the 2019 process, to ensure best use of Nigeria’s oil field.
He said: “We are doing analysis on what these people can bring to bear on the time limit between which you must develop the block that you asked for.
“If you can’t, lets somebody else get into it, and try and create a joint venture to find funding. But just holding to a block is depriving the government, state and even the investor money and it does not make any sense.”