06 December 2016, Sweetcrude, Abuja – Nigeria will maintain oil output at 1.9 million barrels per day (bpd) with all three of its main fields on line, the country’s oil minister Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu said on the sidelines of India’s Petrotech energy conference on Monday.
Nigeria in October said it expected its oil production rate to jump by 22 percent by the year’s end to 2.2 million bpd.
Apart from the impact of low oil prices, whose sales account for 70 percent of the Nigerian government’s revenue, the country’s energy facilities have been crippled by attacks by militants calling for a greater share of the country’s oil wealth.
Meanwhile, the minister has said the federal government has so far saved up to $15.4 billion from its withdrawal of subsidy on petrol.
A statement from the ministry’s Director of Press, Idang Alibi, in Abuja quoted Kachikwu as also saying that his various trips to China and India has yielded about $80billion worth of investment.
The statement explained that Kachikwu was represented by the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Dr. Jemila Su’ara in a meeting with members of the House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum, Downstream who were on an oversight visit to the ministry.
The minister, according to the statement thanked the National Assembly for supporting the government’s introduction of the price modulation template in May 2016 which he added led to the disappearance of fuel queues in the country.
He claimed the price modulation has eliminated subsidies and liberalised the downstream sector of the oil and gas industry.
Briefing the legislators on the activities of the ministry, Kachikwu said the ministry has done much to improve the business environment in the oil and gas industry in order to generate massive investment for the sector.
He also listed his recent trips to China and India in which he said he was able to sign Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) worth about $80 billion.
Other successes achieved include, the partial resuscitation of the Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna refineries, repair of products pipelines and the resuscitation of supply of products from Atlas Cove to Mosimi, Ibadan and Ilorin after a six-year lull.
Other benefits include: improved crude oil supply to Warri and Kaduna refineries and savings of $15.4 billion for the federal government as a result of the elimination of subsidy payments for petroleum products.
The statement also quoted the Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Joseph Akinlaja, to have described the oil industry as the life blood of the Nigerian economy, hence, the legislators’ interests in the activities of the ministry.
Akinlaja explained the committee visited the ministry to know what legislative support they can give to it to achieve its plans, programmes and projects.
He noted the Speaker of the House, Yakubu Dogara, was passionate about the passage of the contentious Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), and that he and the House have done everything within their powers to see to the passage of the PIB into law before the tenure of the current House expires.
Akinlaja also stated that the country looked up to the ministry to ensure fuel availability and its efficient distribution, adding that the House will support it to ensure that petroleum products are supplied at affordable and sustainable prices.