President Jonathan Unveils Oil and Gas Industrial Plan for the Country

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Diezani Alison-Madueke
Determined to re-enforce Nigeria's position as a leading oil and gas nation in the world and enhance the country's status as the hub of Petro-Chemical business in the continent, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan on Tuesday outlined a chain of well articulated projects to ensure that Nigeria and Nigerians reap bountifully from the proceeds of the vast deposits of hydrocarbon resources in the country via massive job creation.

Speaking at the Lagos leg of the ongoing nationwide Peoples Democratic Party Presidential rally, the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke who reeled out the projects on behalf of the Federal Government, revealed that in continuation of its industrialisation agenda, the administration is determined to strengthen Lagos bourgeoning reputation as a mega city through the upgrade and rebirth of critical gas based industrialisation.

Mrs. Alison-Madueke stated that in the weeks ahead, the Federal Government through the Ministry of Petroleum Resources will execute some binding MoUs with a consortium of International Oil and Gas firms for the construction of a Petrochemical plant and some fertilizer processing plants in Lagos and some other parts of the country valued at over $20 billion.

``Petrochemical plants mean fertilizer plants that will increase our agriculture and food production and methanol plants that will boost industrial production with a combined initial investment of about $20billion this will result in the creation of over 300,000 jobs across the nation,'' Mrs. Alison-Madueke stated.

The Minister also stated that the establishment of two new Liquefied Natural Gas, LNG plants, in Olokola in Ogun/Ondo States and Brass LNG in Bayelsa state, will create over 7,000 jobs and inject over $1billion into the host communities.

Commenting on the proposed oil industry reform legislation, the Minister informed that upon the envisaged passage by the legislature, the Petroleum Industry Bill will ensure that Government's revenue is increased to the tune of over $680 billion annually while ensuring providing unprecedented opportunities for level playing field for operators in the industry.

``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,'' The minister stated.

Mrs Alison-Madueke informed that as a result of the success of the Federal Government Amnesty Programme for repentant Niger Delta militant youths, Nigeria now earns average revenue of over $282 million dollars per day from crude oil based on the combined daily production figure of crude and condensate which stands at 2.4million 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,'' the minister stated.

Paying tribute to the President for the prompt signing into law of the Nigerian Content Bill, Mrs. Alison- Madueke informed that by so doing Dr. Jonathan has succeeding in domiciling a huge chunk of the over $20 billion oil industry annual spend which was hitherto ferreted 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 $10billion out of 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 some dockyards and utilization of existing shipyards among others,'' the Minister stated.

On the downstream sector, the minister announced that plans are on to speed up the process leading to the construction of three proposed Greenfield refineries in Lagos, Kogi and Bayelsa states to totally eliminate product importation while assuring that the Ministry through the NNPC has intervened to ease off the recent artificially induced gap in the supply and distribution of kerosene in some parts of the country through massive injection of extra volumes of kerosene into the market to force down the price.