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Buhari Promises Reforms In Oil And Gas Sector To Boost National Income

By Ganiyu Nasirudeen – President Muhammadu Buhari said Tuesday in Abuja that his administration will undertake appropriate reforms and implement fresh policies to boost national income from oil and gas production.

Buhari disclosed this while speaking with delegations from Exxon- Mobil and the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Company (NLNG).

Mr. President listed the removal of bureaucratic bottlenecks created by multiple government agencies that currently impede the operations of companies in the oil and gas sector as one of the reforms to be undertaken by his administration.

President Buhari promised that his government would give priority to the security of oil and gas installations as well as maritime security in its bid to boost national earnings from the sector.

“It is the responsibility of the Federal Government to secure the environment. The vandalisation of oil installations and pipelines, piracy, oil theft and the fall in the international price of oil have made our economic situation very disturbing.

“This government will do all within its powers to secure the environment and encourage more investments in the oil sector,” President Buhari said, adding that his administration would ensure that the country’s oil and gas industry quickly becomes more globally competitive.

Assuring the NLNG delegation of his administration’s full support for plans to expand the total production capacity of the company, the President regretted that political squabbles and interference in the past had prevented it from attaining its full potentials.

“Today, we are celebrating six trains. It could have been 12 trains if all had gone according to plan,” President Buhari noted.

The delegation which was led by was led by O’Neal Managing Director, Mr Nolan O’Neal, included the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Dr Joseph Dawha and his NLNG counterpart, Mr. Babs Omotowa.

Mr. Omotowa requested the President’s support for Train 7 of the NLNG, which, he said would create additional 18,000 construction jobs and an additional three billion dollars dividend to government when operational.

He also asked for the President’s intervention in reducing the number of government agencies around the plant that has made its business globally uncompetitive.

In a related development, President Buhari has applauded steps being taken by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) and other agencies of the government to rehabilitate victims of terrorism and violent extremism in Nigeria.

Speaking Tuesday after receipt of a briefing on the work of the Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Department of ONSA, Buhari promised that the Federal Government would continue to do its best to ensure that victims of Boko Haram’s attack receive necessary support, even as it strives to rid the country of terrorism and insurgency in the shortest possible time.

One of the objectives of the CVE is to reform terrorists and prevent others from joining terrorist organizations and violent sects.

Head of the CVE, Dr. Fatima Akilu, told President Buhari that its non-military approach was running concurrently with the armed onslaught against insurgents in the country, adding so far, the Department has rehabilitated no fewer than 305 victims of terrorism rescued from the Sambisa Forest by the Nigerian military.

She told Mr. President that a National Security Corridor Program has been created to provide a safe route for the repentant Boko Haram insurgents. She hinted that 47 erstwhile members of the group have embraced the program revealing that no fewer than 22 women and girls, recruited as suicide bombers by Boko haram are now undergoing rehabilitation by the body, after voluntarily embracing its “de-radicalization programme.”


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