Oil and gas exploration activities in Chad still ongoing, says Alison-Madueke

The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, on Tuesday in Abuja said oil and gas exploratory activities in the Lake Chad area were still ongoing.

This is contained in a statement issued by Dr Omar Ibrahim, the Acting Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

The statement, however, said because of the heightened insecurity in the area, not much was done in 2013.

It explained that “the tightness in the petroleum products’ supply chain” was as a result of hoarding and diversion of the products by marketers.

The statement warned that anyone found diverting or hoarding petroleum products would be made to face the full wrath of the law.

It stated that based on the actual funds released to the ministry in 2013, the budget performance stood at 89.6 per cent.

The statement stated that the capital release recorded 50.2 per cent, while recurrent recorded 100 per cent.

It revealed that over N60 billion was projected for the 2014 budget in line with the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF).

The statement assured that the ministry would complete some of the ongoing projects which were started in the previous financial year.

It said the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) Framework in the 2014 budget was geared towards having a robust LPG development in the country.

The statement said the ministry was collaborating with NNPC Retail to ensure that the LPG project receives full implementation.

On the status of the planned privatisation of the refineries, it stated that the Federal Government had stepped down the privatisation policy of the state-owned refineries.

The statement said however that while government had agreed to step down privatisation with the labour unions, the best way forward still remained privatisation.

In his remarks, the Senate Joint Committee Chairman, Sen. Emmanuel Paulker, said in the statement that the ministry’s 2013 budget performance was based on the funds released to it.

He urged the ministry to find a lasting solution to the delays recorded in the procurement processes to fast-track the capital projects in the oil and gas sector.

Similarly, the House of Representatives’ Joint Committee Chairman, Rep. Muraina Ajibola, called on the minister to perform the magic of restoring normalcy to the supply of petroleum products.

He said this was necessary in order to reduce the pains being witnessed by Nigerians across the country.

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