Nigeria has recorded a loss of $100 billion between 2015 and 2016 due to 30% drop in global spending on oil restoration and production in the country, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu has said.
Speaking at the ongoing Nigeria oil and gas exhibition conference on Tuesday in Abuja, with the theme “A Journey towards Transformation,” the minister noted that it has been very bullish in trying to restore the oil industry.
Kachikwu said that Nigeria particularly is in a challenged environment, where infrastructures in the country, which are over 40 to 50 years, are deteriorated. He added that even with oil companies who have invested in safety measures in the world, the appetite to even replace infrastructure has been very slow in Nigeria.
“It has not been easy for us, even with what we met on ground as we mount the Buhari administration, we met practically no savings, and no investment in the infrastructure, we met massive subsidy expenditures and abandoned projects” Kachikwu said.
He added that this are the major pull back in getting the sector on track, stating that it was also a good step removing fuel subsidy on petroleum which he said had resulted into paying about N1.4 trillion in settling subsidy debts.
He said “within the space of 2015 and 2016, we have actually taken drastic measures which include modulating of oil prices for the benefit of every Nigerians.”
He noted further that the federal government has well looked into funding of about 6 billion in banks arrears over the existing of cash calls ventures in the upstream of the oil and gas sector.
Kachikwu also noted that the Federal Government is planning to bring in private investors who will solve over 45 billion infrastructures issues in the country. He said that in the next four to five years, the federal government is also looking at a way to bringing in investment of about $10 billion, which will help in reconstructing the country’s refineries, depots, pipelines, amidst others.
“we must attack our cost of production for that is the key in the country, we are trying to see ways at which oil sector will be a driver to the solution to the Niger delta, the 20 point agenda might not be the best reforms but we need to work together in making the sector a better place for us all,” Kachikwu added.
While also speaking on collaboration in accessing benefit to the region, the minister further disclosed that with the amnesty programme initiated by the Federal Government, militancy will drop, stressing that the country’s 2.2 million barrel of oil production will be attained.
He is also noted that despite all the challenges that have been faced in recent years, he is amazed that the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) could produce an output production of about 1.8million barrel per day in January 2017.