The new National Oil Policy is expected to eliminate barriers to investment and development of the oil and gas sector in Nigeria, said Minister of Petroleum Resources Ibe Kachikwu.
This 100-page document is very comprehensive on all aspects of the oil industry, the minister said in a statement released in Lagos, Nigeria’s economic lung.
Mr. Kachikwu also reiterated that his ministry encouraged the establishment of a refining activity in order to evolve from export to petroleum product processing in the face of oil price volatility.
The objectives and strategies included in this new policy will foster a framework of equal opportunities between public and private companies in this sector, he added.
This policy sets out the government’s strategy for Nigeria’s oil resources, the minister said.
“It defines the medium- and long-term objectives of oil reserve growth, utilization and strategies to be pursued in order to ensure the successful implementation of this policy in accordance with Nigeria’s national socio-economic development priorities.” “He added.According to the minister, this policy also proposes fundamental reforms to improve the operational efficiency and results of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). This document proposes the reform and modernization necessary for a long time in the current legislation of the petroleum sector, he said. The Minister announced that this policy would be revised and updated regularly to ensure consistency with government objectives at all times.
He highlighted the main elements of this policy including governance, including the legal and regulatory framework, industrial structure, with a proposal to create a new Nigerian National Oil Company (NOCN) and restructure the NNPC in the form of a ” Autonomous units. The policy also proposes measures to develop human resources at the national level in this sector, with particular emphasis on the development of local content and export skills, he said.