Nigeria: Govt to save N1.4trn annually from subsidy removal – Kachikwu

*Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu.

*Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu.

…Adds that NNPC restructuring save N37bn monthly

Oscarline Onwuemenyi

18 June 2016, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Federal government has announced that the recent removal of subsidy from the pump price of premium motor spirit is saving the federal government over N1.4 trillion that would have been expended on subsidy claims annually.

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, who made the announcement when he visited the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, further explained that the deregulation policy has also re-awakened the downstream sector and would help the nation become a net exporter of petroleum products in a few years.

He noted that “We now have a lot of people who are interested in investing in our refineries and building more refineries and we will remain committed to the goal which is to reduce importation of petroleum products by 60 percent by the end of 2018 and become a net exporter of petroleum products by 2019.”

Kachikwu, according to a statement by the board, noted that with the fall in crude oil prices and reduced investment in the sector, the NCDMB must re-strategise and transit from its role of just propagating local content and local participation to one of finding commonality with industry stakeholders to encourage investment.

He also stated that the corporate restructuring initiated in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has reduced the average monthly loss recorded by the corporation from N40 billion in the recent past to N3 billion, while efforts remained on target to achieve profitability before the end of 2016, a feat that had not been recorded in 20years.

The Minister also announced plans to carry out infrastructural re-graphing of Nigeria’s petroleum sector, adding that plans were afoot to review Nigeria’s ageing pipelines, depots and gas infrastructure and begin the process of replacing them.

On gas flaring, the minister stated that the new thinking was to move away from a penalty-based gas regulation which had largely failed over the years to a zero tolerance gas flaring regulation with the year 2020 as the new target deadline.

Admitting that the entire spectrum of petroleum industry required strategic intervention, Kachikwu harped on the need to see the challenges as opportunities to transform the sub-sectors into income earners for the populace.

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