The minister, who disclosed this in Abuja on Tuesday in response to questions at the 2013 Ministerial briefing, said the law, which was signed by President Goodluck Jonathan in 2010, had opened up the upstream and downstream sector of the industry to indigenous participation and ownership.
“The Nigerian Content Act has ensured that Nigerians are beginning to come to the forefront in the downstream and upstream service sector. This is evident in the fabrication of plants and pipelines by our indigenous companies because first consideration is given to them in various areas of the oil and gas sector,’’ she said.
The minister also called for the deregulation of the downstream sector of the oil and gas industry in order to attract investors.
She said the deregulation of the sector was crucial if the nation intended to revamp its existing refineries and fast track the establishment of the Greenfield refineries.
“Investors cannot come in a subsidy backed environment like ours, we need to deregulate for investors to come in. We cannot eat our cake and have it, we have to do the right thing to transform the sector,’’ the minister said.
She said although the sector had not been fully deregulated, the Federal Government had started the Turn Around Maintenance, TAM, of the four refineries with a view to boosting local refining capacity.
She expressed optimism that the TAM of the Port Harcourt refinery would be completed by the end of the year, while that of Warri and Kaduna refineries would be completed by the end of 2014.
Alison-Madueke added that although the refineries with combined installed capacity of 445,000 barrels per day (bpd) could not satisfy the daily petrol consumption of Nigerians, the production would go a long way in complementing fuel imports.
The minister equally expressed optimism that the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, currently before the National Assembly, when passed into law, would go a long way in transforming operations in the oil and gas sector.
She promised to continue to work with the National Assembly and relevant stakeholders to ensure speedy passage of the PIB.