By Edith Ike-Eboh
The Federal Government says it has plans to deliver Final Investment Decisions (FIDs) on at least four key projects within the nation’s oil and gas industry by the end of last quarter of 2019.
President Muhammadu Buhari disclosed this during the ongoing 24th World Energy Congress (WEC) in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on Tuesday.
A statement by Mr Ndu Ughamadu, the spokesman for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on Tuesday in Abuja, however, said the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipreye Sylva, represented the President at the congress.
Buhari said his vision was to bequeath a vibrant petroleum industry that would guarantee long term strategic investments and prosperity for Nigerians.
“My plan is to ensure that during my tenure, four Final Investment Decisions (FIDs) are taken.
“I am sure that within the next quarter, we should be able to conclude on some of these FIDs so as to grow the industry,” he said.
The president identified gas development as part of government priority to fast-track the industrialisation drive of the country.
“As you are aware, we are focusing on the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) pipeline project which will address some of our power issues and encourage the setting up of local industries and businesses along different areas in Nigeria.”
The president also shed more light on the imperative of rehabilitating the nation’s refineries, saying that it was unsustainable for Nigeria to continue to import petroleum products.
He said that while private investment in the refining sector was encouraged, government should focus more on the repair of its existing refineries.
“People are talking about modular refineries, we know that modular refineries are part of the solution but they can only be part of the solution and not the solution.
“So, we are going to try to encourage modular refineries but before that, we are going to really focus on repairing the existing refineries to ensure that we are back on stream very shortly.”
Describing crude oil theft as “intractable”, Buhari said government was looking at practicable solutions to the menace.
He said government was also looking at the issue of reducing the cost of production, through robust engagement with the International Oil Companies (IOCs) toward getting the best value for all stakeholders.
According to him, Nigeria needs to lend its voice to global energy fora as they remain some of the best platforms where major decisions that impact on the global energy landscape are taken.(NAN)