Thursday, October 27, 2016 11:19 pm
Buhari stated this in Abuja on Thursday at the public presentation of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources’ 7 BIG WINS – a short and medium term priorities to grow Nigeria’s oil and gas industry from 2015 to 2019.
He stated that an efficient oil and gas industry will ensure that agriculture, solid minerals, and other critical sectors of the economy are supported to grow and contribute more to the nation’s economy.
“There is also a dire need to instil a new culture of transparency and efficiency in the industry, streamline operations along best practices by championing and implementing strategic reforms at every layer of the industry.
“This will help us improve oil and gas production, explore our frontier basins, improve our local refining capacity, and above all build sustainable partnerships with the oil producing communities.
“If we are able to plug the leakages and tighten loose systems that characterized this industry in the days of high oil prices, we are convinced that we can do even more with the little that we are getting at the moment, than we did even in the time of plenty.’’
The President maintained that the petroleum industry remained critical to the Nigerian economy of today and the future in spite of the current challenges.
“The golden era of high oil prices may not be here now, but oil and gas resources still remain the most immediate and practical keys out of our present economic crisis.’’
He said oil and gas resources remained critical enablers for the successful implementation of the nation’s budget as well as the source of funds for laying a strong foundation for a new and more diversified economy.
According to him, this is a national imperative and a core thrust of his administration’s economic policy.
He reaffirmed his administration’s determination to resolve the socio-economic and security challenges in the Niger Delta region.
He reassured that his administration’s resolve and capacity to work with all stakeholders to restore normalcy would guarantee success in the Niger Delta region.
“As you are aware, recent developments in the Niger Delta have temporarily limited our oil and gas production and supplies.
“However, let me reaffirm that whatever challenges we are currently facing in the region, our resolve and capacity to work with all
stakeholders to restore normalcy will guarantee success.’’
Buhari congratulated the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachickwu, and his staff for their foresight and vision for the oil and gas industry.
According to the President, the oil and gas roadmap reflects the vision and aspiration of his administration for the oil and gas sector.
He, therefore, urged all stakeholders in the oil and gas sector to deliver on the expectations contained in the Petroleum Industry Road map.
The President solicited the support and cooperation of the media, local and foreign investors as well as other critical stakeholders in the oil and gas industry “as we seek to consolidate CHANGE in this very important sector of our national economy’’.
In his remarks, Kachickwu explained that the public presentation of the short and medium term priorities to grow the Nigerian oil and gas industry was aimed at developing a stable and enabling oil and gas landscape with improved transparency, efficiency and stable investment
He expressed the hope that the ongoing reform in the oil and gas sector would provide huge investment opportunities in infrastructure development, oil and gas facilities, operations and maintenance across the oil and gas value chain.
“We can decide today to face the current challenges and build our economy using our bountiful gas resources.
“In just a few years, if we work hard, we can see Nigeria become a net exporter of petroleum products rather than an importer, something that will have very dramatic effect on our foreign exchange earnings and reduce the pressure on foreign reserves.
“We can begin to work to create thousands of jobs that will be of great benefit to the host communities.
“We can begin to attract investments and make Nigeria a citadel of investment as an investment destination in Africa and we can begin to take our rightful place in the comity of nations and develop policies that are essential to move the industry forward.”
The minister announced that Buhari would meet with stakeholders from the Niger Delta and oil producing communities as part of efforts to achieve lasting peace in the region.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the highlights of the event were the broadcast of the television documentary and the presentation of the 7 Big Wins by President Muhammadu Buhari. (NAN)