Ibe Kachikwu, minister of state for petroleum resources, says the federal government will be allocating oil blocks and passing the petroleum industry bill in 2017.
Unveiling his goals, and that of the ministry of petroleum resources, for 2017, Kachikwu said Nigeria would exploit the relationship built by President Muhammadu Buhari in taking a road show to the UK and US.
“We are going to accelerate federal government revenues, look into areas where we could have made more money, so as to support the 2017 financing,” Kachikwu said.
“We are going to be seeking to attract investments and complete all the MOUs; the one in China, the one in India… we are looking to do a roadshow to the UK, we are looking to do a roadshow to the US with President Donald Trump coming in.
“We are looking quite frankly to draw on the relationship that the president has built over time. We are going to be conducting oil blocks allocations and marginal flow awards to try and raise money for the government.”
Kachikwu, who also spoke on the petroleum industry bill, said Nigeria’s refineries would be revamped to produced at a utilisation capacity of 60 percent.
“We need to start the revamping of the refineries. The president has given us a matching order on that. We still remain committed on our goal of 2018: reduce importation by 60 per cent and 2019, try and exit the importation of petroleum products substantially.
“Now, are going to continue to focus on downstream issues. Although we have liberalised, there are still some challenges. We are going to see how we work within the liberalisation infrastructure such that we are able to take away the low-hanging difficulties.
“We are also going to focus on the Niger delta. It’s been too long a lingering issue. We are going to be working with every aspect of the presidency to try and find solution to this.
“We are going to run at a rocket pace. We have so much to do. First, we are going to firm up our policies, be able to gazette all our oil and gas policies and then pass the Petroleum Industrial Bill, PIB.”
Kachikwu praised Nigeria’s “influential role” in stabilising oil prices, saying he expects oil to trade in the $60s for the better part of 2017.