The Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, has advised the newly-inaugurated council on hydrocarbons to speedily formulate policies that will address challenges in the oil and gas sector.
Kachikwu gave the advice in Abuja on Tuesday at the resuscitation of the council.
The Federal Executive Council presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, on October 5, gave the nod for the resuscitation of the council which had been in existence for some time.
He said that the council acts as an ombudsman that meets once yearly to review policies in the sector, bringing together people from business, oil sector, oil communities and relevant ministries.
He said, “As you put together this hydrocarbon council, I urge all of you to take cognisance of so much that is going on in the Ministry of Petroleum.
“It is one of the most challenging, exciting times we have in creating, develop the right policies, right principles to address frustrations that are in the system.”
He said there was so much to do in the industry.
According to him, these include growth of the upstream through policies on oil and gas, passage of the long-sought-after petroleum industry bill and issues of Niger Delta security among others.
He said, “We’re setting for ourselves very comprehensive goals that we want everybody to participate in. We are taking the bull by the horn for every little problem that we have.
“Those solutions shouldn’t stop at the ministry.
“It should first begin with you, your various undertakings in the sector whether it’s as scholars, ministry representatives, investors, policy formulators, traditional rulers who provide framework.
“Whatever capacity, everybody needs to have an input. We will study it. There is nowhere in Nigeria today where there is an urgency of yesterday as the petroleum sector.
“Like I say, oil got us to where we are today. It is going to take oil to take us out of it.’’
Speaking to newsmen after the event Kachikwu said the nation was not where it should be as per crude oil production and the bombing of the Forcados pipeline recently further hampered output.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mrs Jamila Shua’ra, said the essence of the meeting was to “engender a bottom-up approach to policy making”.
“We had 30 memos presented from the council at its inaugural stage. I think that is a good way to start. Next year, we hope to have a more robust session.”
The stakeholders were drawn from oil producing states.
Hydrocarbon is an organic compound consisting of hydrogen and carbon is a primary energy source.
The majority of hydrocarbons found on Earth occur in crude oil, which Nigeria has large deposits of it.