From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Federal Executive Committee (FEC) has approved a new National Oil Policy for the country. The last review of the oil policy was done 10 years ago amidst dynamic changes in the sector.
The policy is expected to bring orderliness to the management of petroleum resources in the country. It will also be market-driven and guide further legislations that will strengthen the operations of the oil sector. This new policy is coming a month after a National Gas Policy was approved by the Council to drive changes in policy that will make gas a hub of the nation’s economy.
The gas policy document is built on the policy goals of the Federal Government for the gas sector as presented in the 7 Big Wins initiative (www.7Bigwins.com) developed by the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and the National Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP 2017-2020).
Minister of Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, told State House Correspondents at the post-FEC briefing that the policy also targets long term sales of petroleum products, which is the main source of the country’s revenue. He explained that the government will, henceforth, consider geographical markets in long term contracting and sales of its oil as opposed to the currently structured contracting.
“How we sell our crude is going to be looked at. There is a lot of geographical market; we need to look at long term contracting and sales as opposed to systemic contracting we have been doing,” he said.
The petroleum minister said the policy, which targets the exit of importation of fuel in 2019 and also captures “the cash calls change we have done which enables the sector to fund itself through incremental volumes; it captures the reorganisation in the NNPC for efficiency and enables accountability.”