The Federal Government has charged stakeholders in the oil and gas industry to find and agree on cheaper means of producing crude, while also ensuring a more competitive environment.
It said this must meet the needs and purposes of the nation, including the largest production volumes possible.
This was the view expressed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at a virtual meeting on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) with major players in the industry under the auspices of Oil Producers Trade Section (OPTS) in Nigeria and Independent Petroleum Producers Group (IPPG).
He said, “we need to agree on terms that will give us a more competitive environment. We should find a way of producing oil cheaper at the largest volume possible given the circumstances and future of oil itself, and of course, given our requirements and needs.”x
Osinbajo noted that in line with the focus of the Muhammadu Buhari administration, there was need for stakeholders to maximise the opportunities in the industry.
He continued: “The other point is that of gas. To sound the question of reconciling and maintaining our domestic gas obligation, and at the same time improving the gas environment in such a way that we are able to benefit maximally from it as a business and government.
“I like the concept that gas should be an enabler for quick development and I think that we must reach some kind of balance with this, especially with this question around domestic gas obligation. I would like OPTS and IPPG to look more carefully and see in what ways we can come to some agreements as to how it should be done.”
On benefits of harmonising interests in the PIB, the Vice President observed that the passage of the proposed law should be seen as an opportunity to transform the industry by addressing lingering issues that have impeded development across the different segments that make up the sector.
The new PIB, which was presented to the National Assembly by the President in September last year, has already passed second reading in both chambers of the National Assembly.
The main objective of the bill is to foster sustainable development in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry.
In remarks, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, said the interaction was indicative of their commitment to the transformation of the industry through the piece of legislation.
On his part, Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari, stated that most of the concerns raised by stakeholders had been addressed by the bill.
Also speaking, chairman of OPTS, Mike Sangster, promised that the stakeholders remained committed to making Nigeria the “preeminent hydrocarbon province” in the world.