The Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, says Nigeria and other African oil producing countries must begin to device strategies to cut costs in oil production in order to break even.
This came in the face of persistently dwindling oil prices in the global market.
Dr Kachikwu said that this current challenge requires strong collaboration among smaller oil producing countries in the continent and a lot of decisive action in areas of structure, management and operations in oil production.
He said that the African Petroleum Congress and Exhibition – CAPE VI to be hosted by Nigeria in March 2016 would focus on promotion of cooperation among member nations in technical assistance, marketing policies and strategies geared towards returning African oil producers to the lowest cost in oil production.
A Public Affairs Analyst, Timothy Ademola, on Friday cautioned stakeholders being hasty to make the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) a scape goat in the recent scandal involving the oil agency and the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Speaking on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Ademola said: “Because of what is happening in the Federal Republic, everybody seems to need a scapegoat and NNPC seems to be the easy option, but my concern is we must look at the facts. Nigeria has become too sophisticated to ‘scapegoat’ people.”
He added that such a tendency may lead to the wrongful persecution of innocent people.
Following the reconciliation meeting between the NNPC, CBN and the Ministry of Finance, it was discovered that a total of 10.8 billion Naira was announced as the actual sum not accounted for. The NNPC argued that there were costs to maintaining constant oil supply to Nigeria and securing the 32 day fuel supply for the entire nation which it stores on the high sea.
“When NNPC is maintaining 32 days sufficiency, there are certain costs to it. One of the clear costs is the fact that security most be provided for this volume of fuel that is being kept on the high sea.”
He however questioned the need to subsidise costs for maintaining security agents after such agencies would have been accounted for in the budget.