President Muhammadu Buhari said on Tuesday in Abuja that his administration would undertake appropriate reforms and implement fresh policies to boost national income from oil and gas production.
Speaking at separate meetings with delegations from Exxon- Mobil and the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Company (NLNG), President Buhari listed the removal of bureaucratic bottlenecks created by multiple government agencies that currently impede the operations of companies in the oil and gas sector as one of the reforms to be undertaken by his administration.
The President, according to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity Femi Adesina, said that his government would also give priority attention to the security of oil and gas installations as well as maritime security in its bid to boost national earnings from the sector.
“It is the responsibility of the Federal Government to secure the environment.
“The vandalism of oil installations and pipelines, piracy, oil theft and the fall in the international price of oil have made our economic situation very disturbing.
“This government will do all within its powers to secure the environment and encourage more investments in the oil sector,’’ President Buhari said, adding that his administration will ensure that Nigeria’s oil and gas industry quickly becomes more globally competitive.
Assuring the NLNG delegation of his administration’s full support for plans to expand the total production capacity of the company, the President regretted that political squabbles and interference in the past had prevented it from attaining its full potentials.
“Today, we are celebrating six trains. It could have been 12 trains if all had gone according to plan,” President Buhari said.
The NLNG delegation included the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Dr Joseph Dawha and the Managing Director of NLNG, Mr. Babs Omotowa.
Mr. Omotowa requested the President’s support for Train 7 of the NLNG, which, he said would create additional 18,000 construction jobs and an additional three billion dollars dividend to government when operational.
He also asked for the President’s intervention in reducing the number of multiple government agencies around the plant that have made its business globally uncompetitive.
The Exxon-Mobil delegation was led by its Managing Director, Mr. Nolan O’Neal.