The Federal Government will begin payment of $5.1 billion joint venture cash calls to International Oil Companies (IoCs) from next month (April), the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu has disclosed.
Delivering the keynote address at the first Nigerian Oil and Gas Opportunity Fair organised by the Nigerian Content Development Monitoring Board (NCDMB) in Uyo, Akwa Ibom yesterday, Kachikwu said government had to prioritise fulfilling financial obligations to the IoCs as part of the plan to increase funding of the oil and gas sector.
Underscoring why Nigeria must not rest even after achieving 2.2million barrels per day, Kachikwu stressed that the country must remove all institutional and financial constraints and move to about four million barrels per day.
He explained that government was focusing on boosting local refining because it is now outdated to rely on crude exploration, transporting and externalising export of crude.
According to the minister, Nigeria must refine its crude because the supply chain in the world has changed and being a supplier of crude no longer confers advantage on oil producing countries.
He argued that the Nigerian business model cannot continued to remain to drill, to transport and export, saying, “it must be to drill, to refine and export.” Kachikwu called on oil and service companies to deepen their areas of specialisation and prevent overcrowding in certain areas that muddles up the sector.
He added that the ministry of petroleum resources is working very hard to reduce the amount of time lost to bureaucracy adding that it is absolutely necessary to provide service and not add more bottlenecks to the system.
The minister called for effective collaboration between the oil sector and academia saying there is so much gap between the academic and oil industry and there is urgent need to bring them together in order to move on very quickly.
Declaring the fair open, Akwa Ibom State Governor Udom Emmanuel, said oil and service companies must enter into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with host communities to end attacks on oil facilities in the region.
The governor also urged oil and service firms to establish offices in the Niger Delta in order to contribute their quotas to the development of the region.