Nigerian govt approves new oil, social protection policies

Nigerian govt approves new oil, social protection policies
July 20 01:45 2017

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday approved a new National Oil Policy in order to bring orderliness to the management of petroleum resources in the country.

The meeting was presided over by the Acting President Yemi Osinbajo.

The council also approved a National Social Protection Policy.

Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mr. Ibe Kachikwu told State House correspondents at the end of the meeting that the oil policy targets long term sales of petroleum products, which is the main source of the country’s revenue.

He said government would henceforth consider geographical markets in long term contracting and sales of its oil as opposed to the currently structured contracting system.

“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,

The policy which targets the exit of importation of fuel in 2019 and also captures the cash calls changed we have done which enables the sector to fund itself through incremental volumes.

“It captures the reorganisation in the NNPC for efficiency and enable accountability. It captured the issues in the Niger Delta and what we needed to do as a government to focus on stability and consistency in the sector,” he said.

He said apart from the fact of fluidity in pricing and uncertainty in terms of the price regime in crude, the oil policy would push “for a refining processing environment to move away from exporting as it were to refining petroleum product.

“That’s one change you will see. Those are the fundamentals, it’s a document if well executed will fundamentally take the change process that we began in 2015 to its logical conclusion hopefully in the next couple of years,” he said.

The minister also told journalists that government is targeting crude production of 2.5 million to three million barrels per day in the next two years if the Organisation of Petroleum Exporter Countries (OPEC) environment rules permit.

Also speaking, Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, said the council has also approved a National Social Protection Policy, which seeks to provide social justice, equity and inclusive growth using a transformative mechanism for mitigating poverty and unemployment in the country.

“What we have done is to submit to the council today, a policy that is largely inspirational, aspirational but seeks to ensure that every Nigerian gets  at least a minimum of what is required in terms of human development and protection,” she said.