Nigeria’s government has announced it will spend zero amount on petroleum subsidy this year and would not remove the subsidy in periods of high oil prices.
Minister of state for petroleum resources, Dr Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, disclosed this at the 45th convocation lecture of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka in Enugu state.
He said government has commenced pumping of oil from two refineries to cater to the country’s oil and gas needs.
Meanwhile, 70 percent of pipelines which have been vandalized have recently been fixed and are to start conveying crude to the refineries.
Kachikwu said President Buhari’s reform agenda in the oil and gas sector is based on having the right people to do the right thing.
“With the right people in the petroleum sector there will be an increase in revenue for the country via sales of petroleum products.The reform agenda in the oil and other sectors will also provide more employment opportunities in the country,” he said.
The minister pointed out that the country has suffered poor management in the oil sector over the past 25 years. He added that previously, the country’s cost of producing crude oil and its importation of fuel was the highest in the world.
“In the recent past, the oil and gas industry has emerged from the scourge of militancy in the Niger Delta when production was at a low of 1.6 million barrels per day in 2009 to its current levels of about 2.2 million barrels per day,” he said.
The mainstream and downstream sectors he noted have witnessed challenges. The government’s focus now is to liberalise the sectors.
Kachikwu urged Nigerians to support President Buhari’s fight against corruption in order to retrieve the country’s looted funds adding the fight would restore Nigeria’s dignity as well as banish poverty.