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U.S. Stops Importation Of Nigeria's Oil Over Shale, Says Minister

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SAN FRANCISCO, June 05, (THEWILL) â€' The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke yesterday said the United States (US) has finally stopped the importation of crude oil from Nigeria.

This may not be unconnected with the US' discovery and utilisation of Shale oil and gas.

Following the development, Nigeria has begun the search for new markets.

Represented by the Group Executive Director (GED), Corporate Strategy and Planning, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Timothy Okon, at an Interactive Enlightenment Workshop on Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) in Abuja, the minister urged the country to adopt sustainable economic policies in line with the changes in global economy.

According to her, the situation at hand calls for a change of current policies which may cause future economic stress no matter how dearly Nigerians hold them.

She said:'The global economy is changing and Nigeria must adopt sustainable economic strategy. I know many of you must have heard the Shale gas and the Shale oil revolution.

'This has literally knocked-out Nigeria from the export to the US. So Nigeria must adopt (new policies to confront the change). We must change our ways and policies that we may hold dear which may cause us economic stress in the future.

'So, this market called the Shale oil and gas has resulted in Nigeria seeking new markets for its oil.'

Mrs Alison-Madueke called for competitiveness in the sector, noting that there is need for new policies to strengthen the industry.

She stressed the importance of natural resources in economic transformation, stressing that it was high time the government diversified her economy.

Making a case for the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), the minister explained that the country expects to attain a vibrant economy due to initiatives such as gas price reform, gas commercialisation, gas infrastructure framework and other policies that are enshrined in the bill.

She added that in terms of job creation, it is hoped that the bill will restore Nigeria's industrial capacity by providing employment opportunities for all.

'The sector is one of the sectors that will restore the Nigeria's industrial capacity for job opportunities for all,' she stressed.

The minister said the gains of the Transformation Agenda of the administration have already been demonstrated from the privatisation of the power sector.

According to her, the country is now looking forward to accessing investments in the power sector following its liberalisation.

The Chairman, House Committee on Petroleum (Downstream), Hon, Dakuku Peterside, said the operators in the sector are expected to stop gas flaring in three years after the passage of the bill.

He noted that the bill must stop pollution and emission from gas flaring when it takes effect.

The bill, which he said has scaled Second Reading in both chambers of the National Assembly, is being delayed because the lawmakers must be thorough since the sector is very key to the nation's economy.

He urged the organised labour to support the National Assembly to release the passage bill which will stand the test of time.

Vice President, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Issa Aremu, who chaired the occasion advised the National Assembly not to wait for the congress to picket it before passing the PIB into law.

His words: 'It is good that chairman House Committee on Petroleum (Downstream) is here. I think they will not wait for us to picket them before they can pass this bill.'