The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, has stated that his resignation was a secondary issue if the country continues to import petroleum products by 2019, despite his many assurances that the situation would change.
He stressed that his main focus was to work, in collaboration with other stakeholders, towards providing enabling policies for the growth and success of the Nigerian oil and gas sector.
Kachikwu noted this on Tuesday on his Twitter platform while answering questions on ‘New Media Chat with Dr. @IbeKachikwu, Honorable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources’, a question and answer session conducted by the minister.
On the question of whether the minister would resign if the much-touted Dangote Refinery fails to begin production in 2019, and Nigeria still imports fuel, Kachikwu said, “The issue of resignation is quite secondary and more so, 2019 is an election year.
“The primary issues are to provide enabling policies, collaboratively work with Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) amongst other technical enablers.”
When asked by another Twitter user about the high rate of crude theft and the absence of reliable data on crude extraction in Nigeria, Kachikwu responded: “Nobody is afraid of oil extraction metering. We’re currently working on a holistic solution with DPR (Department of Petroleum Resources).
“The holistic solution will involve implanting metering across board. The 2018 budget will make a provision for this process.”
The minister added that, “Volume of extraction is relatively known but a holistic metering solution will provide more exactness, numerically.”
On the issue of status of outstanding cash call payments to the International Oil Companies (IOCs), Kachikwu noted that, “There are two sets of outstanding cash call payment; the pre-2016 and the 2016 outstanding payments.
“The pre-2016 payment is to be paid over a period of 5 years with incremental volumes and the process is currently ongoing. The 2016 payment has begun and we have paid about 2 tranches with the aim of depleting before the year end or at most, early 2018.”
On the question of looking at exports as an effective way of measuring OPEC compliance, and whether Nigeria support this proposal, Kachikwu noted that, “Monitoring exports will certainly amongst other indices, enable measurement of OPEC compliance. here has been arguments about monitoring exports vs monitoring production. I personally tilt more towards the former.”
He added that, “If the totality of production is locally consumed, there is a negligible impact on the global market on the part of the producer.”
The minister further noted in response to another question on the privatisation of the nation’s refineries and the unsuccessful turn-around maintenance (TAM) over the years, that fixing the refineries will ultimately make them more valuable in the case that this option should ever be explored.
“My immediate focus as we speak is to consistently improve on the improved fuel availability and nationwide sufficiency,” he stated.topics from