By Deji Elumoye
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has stressed the need to ensure increase in the nation’s oil production volume at cheaper rates.
He has therefore called on stakeholders to find and agree on cheaper means of producing oil while also ensuring a more competitive environment that meets the needs and purposes of the Nigerian nation including the largest production volumes possible.
Osinbajo canvassed this view, according to a release on Wednesday evening by his media assistant, Laolu Akande, at a virtual meeting on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) with stakeholders in the industry under the auspices of the Oil Producers Trade Section (OPTS) in Nigeria, and Independent Petroleum Producers Group (IPPG).
His words: “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.
The Vice President noted that in line with the focus of the Buhari administration, there is need for stakeholders in the sector to agree on terms to create a more competitive environment, while maximizing opportunities in the oil and gas industry.
He said “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.”
Commenting on the benefits of harmonizing interests in the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) currently before the National Assembly, Osinbajo observed that the passage of the PIB should be seen as an opportunity to transform the industry by addressing lingering issues that have impeded development across the different sectors that make up the industry.
His words: “Businesses would like to invest and invest more in this environment. So, that is the point of convergence. We want more investments and obviously state governments like more investments, and you (private companies) would like to invest so that you can make more money. No question about that; what we should seek to do is to see to what extent we can come to that convergence”.
Also speaking, Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr Mele Kyari said most of the concerns raised by stakeholders had been addressed in the proposal before the National Assembly, noting that the Federal Government has moved from its previous position to one that is more competitive and attractive to investors.