Wednesday, March 2, 2011
By Adeola Yusuf Senior Correspondent, Lagos
The government on Tuesday declared that Nigeria now earns N42.3 billion ($282 million) daily from crude oil as the price on the international market continues to soar.
Petroleum Minister Diezani Alison-Madeueke, who made the announcement, maintained that the country is also targeting about $680 billion annually from the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).
Oil price hit $113 per barrel (pb) on Monday, and she confirmed that the amnesty programme has made it easy for the country to produce oil in the Niger Delta.
She bared her mind just as President Goodluck Jonathan outlined a chain of projects to ensure that Nigeria and Nigerians reap bountifully from the proceeds of the vast deposits of hydrocarbon resources in the country.
Speaking at the Lagos leg of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential rally, Alison-Madueke said in continuation of its industrialisation agenda, the administration is determined to strengthen Lagos as a mega city through the upgrade and rebirth of gas-based industrialisation.
In the weeks ahead, she added, the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, will execute agreements with a consortium of international oil and gas firms for the construction of a petrochemical plant and fertiliser processing plants in Lagos and other parts of the country.
``Petrochemical plants mean fertiliser plants that will increase our agriculture and food production and methanol plants that will boost industrial production with a combined initial investment of about $20 billion this will result in the creation of over 300,000 jobs across the nation,’’ she enthused.
Alison-Madueke added that the establishment of two new Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) plants in Olokola in Ogun/Ondo States and Brass LNG in Bayelsa will create over 7,000 jobs and inject over $1 billion into the host communities.
She said the PIB will ensure that government’s revenue is increased to over $680 billion annually while providing unprecedented opportunities for a level playing field for oil operators.
``The PIB, when it becomes law, will move Nigerian business men and women – such as your good selves – into the commanding heights of the oil and gas industry.”
According to her, as a result of the success of the amnesty programme for repentant militants, Nigeria now earns an average revenue of over $282 million per day from crude oil, based on the combined daily production figure of crude and condensate which stands at 2.4 million barrels.
``Many of you will recall that eight months ago the nation’s crude oil production was as low as one million barrels per day.
“However, as I speak to you today, thanks to the vigorous implementation of the amnesty programme of this administration, the story is different.
“It means increased average revenue for Government with which this administration is now using to provide the much desired dividends of democracy to the citizenry. Whether you look into education, roads or health care, there is improvement in the provision of these services to the citizens of this nation.”
She applauded Jonathan for promptly signing into law the Nigerian Content Bill, saying by so doing Jonathan has domiciled a huge chunk of the over $20 billion oil industry annual expenditure which was hitherto ferried abroad to improve the economy of other nations.
``By giving our country a Nigerian Content Act, the President has reversed the trend.
“This means a retention of $10 billion out of the $20 billion average annual industry expenditure, creation of over 30,000 direct employment and training opportunities, establishment of three to four new pipe mills to service industry demands as well as the development of some dockyards and utilisation of existing shipyards among others.”