FG Plans Cutting Equity Stakes in Oil JVs to 40%
- Mulls 5% reduction in production cost; targets three million barrels per day
Chineme Okafor in Abuja
The federal government yesterday disclosed that it would shed its equity shares in the various oil and gas production joint ventures (JV) it holds in Nigeria’s hydrocarbon industry to 40 per cent.
It also explained it would push to cut the cost of producing a barrel of crude oil in the country’s oil fields by at least five per cent.
A statement from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), said the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Timipre Sylva, enumerated the plans of the government in a presentation at the commencement of a two-day ‘Next Level Strategic’ retreat he held with the heads of ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) under him.
The statement signed by the Group General Manager, Public Affairs of the NNPC, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, said Sylva noted that the NNPC and other departments and agencies under the ministry would have to take a cue from the plan of the ministry in this regard.
He listed other priority areas of his ministry to include curbing petroleum products cross border leakages; completion of gas flare commercialisation programme; increasing Nigeria’s crude oil production to three million barrels per day (mbd); and reducing cost of crude oil production by at least five per cent.
According to Sylva, other priority areas of the government in the sector would be aggressive promotion of the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB); promotion of inland basin exploration activities; promotion of deep offshore exploration activities; collaboration with private sector to aggressively increase domestic refining capacity and working assiduously to support President Muhammadu Buhari to take millions of Nigerians out of poverty with creation of more jobs.
The minister reportedly told heads of the agencies that at end of the retreat they would be required to collectively sign an undertaking to deliver on the set tasks and targets, saying they must execute the mandate with all the seriousness it deserves.
The statement also quoted the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari, to have expressed the readiness of the corporation to align with the priorities of the ministry.
Kyari said that the NNPC as the main enabler of Nigeria’s economy, would work with other agencies of the ministry to realise the priorities of the government in the sector.