After many months of searching for oil in the North-East, the Federal Government has shared the good news that Borno State has joined the league of oil-producing states in Nigeria following the discovery of oil in the northern state.
The disclosure was made by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Jamila Shua’ra, during the agreement signing ceremony for joint venture, JV, cash call exit and presentation of the petroleum sector scorecard held at the auditorium of the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PDF) in Abuja on Thursday, December 15.
Shua’ra noted that the discovery was one of the major successes of the ministry in 2016 although she failed to mention the particular area in Borno State where oil was discovered and if the discovery was in commercial quantity.
She attributed the discovery of oil in Borno and Lagos states to the doggedness of the present administration.
“Today, as a team, we have recorded commendable achievements in our sector: the introduction of the PMS Price Modulation Matrix; the availability of PMS in all outlets; eradication of payment on fuel subsidies; located foreign direct investment to finance midstream oil and gas infrastructure; adopted exit strategies on Joint Venture Cash Call; robust engagement of host communities to reduce agitations; creation of more stable industrial relations.”
In the scorecard presented to stakeholders, the ministry also noted that the introduction of Price Modulation Mechanism and Appropriate Pricing Framework had helped the Federal Government to save N1.4 trillion that would have been expended on subsidy payment between May and November.
Also, the ministry announced that the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, would in 2017 conduct bid rounds for open blocks and conclude the previously aborted marginal fields bid round to enhance the entry of new players, stimulate competition and generate revenue for the government.
The Vice President of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, also confirmed the discovery and added that the deregulation of the downstream sector will save Nigeria N15.4 billion monthly. Speaking on behalf of the VP, Alhaji Abubakar Malami noted that the sector contributed to 90 percent of the country’s earning.
In the same vein, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, noted that the downside of the subsidy removal was the fall in the country’s consumption from 50 million litre per day (mlpd) previously to the current figure 28mlpd.
According to him, the government was focused on achieving zero militancy in 2017 and Nigeria’s oil production has risen to close to 1.8 million barrels per day.