President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed his commitment to reform the
oil and gas sector, pointing out that effectively reforming the petroleum industry must be meticulous and designed to meet the yearnings and aspirations of the citizenry.
Buhari stated this on Thursday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, when he
received the new national executives of the Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) led by its National President, William Akeoraha.
President Buhari said he was in agreement with the view that reforming the petroleum industry would unlock numerous untapped potential for the country, but stressed that the reforms must be well thought out and must have the best interest of Nigeria and Nigerians as its core objective.
“Such reforms cannot and must not be rushed if we must get it right. We are still suffering from the effects of many legacy policies that were rushed and passed without fully appreciating the consequences the provisions embedded in them,” he said.
The president said any decision his administration takes on the oil industry will impact either negatively or positively on generations to come.
According to him, “The Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) was conceived to ensure Nigeria’s future generations are positively impacted by its oil wealth, and that it was never about short term gains.”
Buhari assured the NUPENG executives that dialogue on the PIB was ongoing and that at the end, the country would have a bill that the people would be proud of.
“On refineries, the public private partnership (PPP) approach we adopted to rehabilitate our existing refineries has taken longer than expected. However, I am aware that the NNPC has concluded the process for selecting the private sector partners that will rehabilitate the refineries. I am informed that they are working out finances and hopefully, work will commence soon,” he said.
He expressed his commitment to continue to support innovative ideas that
would bring new investments in refineries into the country, and called for suggestions from NUPENG members “on how we can move forward.