The Federal Executive Council presided over by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, on Wednesday, approved the Nigerian Petroleum Policy, which is aimed at improving efficiency in the oil industry.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, disclosed this to State House correspondents at the end of the council’s meeting inside the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The approval of the policy, he said, was coming about three weeks after the National Gas Policy was considered and approved.
The minister said if well executed, the document would fundamentally take the change process in the oil and gas industry that started in 2015 to its logical conclusion in the next couple of years.
Kachikwu stated, “Today’s policy focused on oil and the imperative needed to change the policy in the oil sector. It dealt with certain fundamentals; we are already pursuing some of the policy. We are working assiduously to exit the importation of fuel in 2019 and capture the cash call change we have done, which enables the sector to fund itself through incremental volumes.
“It captures the reorganisation in the NNPC for efficiency and enables accountability. It captures the issues in the Niger Delta and what we need to do as a government to focus on stability and consistency in the sector.
“It is a very comprehensive 100-page document that deals with all aspects in the industry. The last time this was done was in 2007 and it has been 10 years and you are aware that the dynamics of the oil industry has changed dramatically.”
The minister added, “Apart from the fact of fluidity in pricing and uncertainty in terms of the price regime in crude, we are pushing for a refining processing environment and move away from exporting as it were to refining petroleum products. That is one change you will see.
“Secondly, how we sell our crude is going to be looked at. There is a lot of geographical market we need to look at long-term contracting and sales as opposed to the systemic contracting we have been doing.”
According to him, as part of efforts to end fuel importation by 2019, he currently chairs a steering committee, while there is a technical committee team already set up and headed by the Chief Operating Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.
The minister explained that series of meetings had been held with individuals who were willing to invest in the refineries.
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