Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, said the Federal Government has achieved a tremendous reduction in militant activities in the Niger Delta region.
This, he, said was in spite of the setbacks occasioned by wanton destruction of oil facilities and installations as well as decline in the country’s crude production by over 700,000 barrels per day due to activities of militants in recent time.
He stated this at the 20th convocation ceremony of the Petroleum Training Institute (PTI), Effurun, Delta State.
He noted that recent fall of oil prices across the globe and other challenges have had severe effects on the fortunes of the country.
He explained that these developments had caused the global shift to gas.
He reiterated that the successful implementation of the new national gas policy would lead to the harnessing of Nigeria’s vast gas resources and commercialising its gas flares for the economic development.
He said that the passage of the modified Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) would open up the oil and gas sector to new local and international investors for competitive growth and development in line with international best practices.
He emphasised that the PIB would overhaul the entire industry governance framework to fiscals and regulatory form of the oil and gas sector.
“I therefore, want to state firmly that the PTI would benefit immensely from the passage of the bill because I am optimistic that the implementation of the Industry reforms through the enacted bill will strongly open up the oil and gas sector to new local and international investors,” he said.
He added that PTI has a pivotal role to play in the construction of a model modular refinery, which the Federal Government had mandated the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) to construct.
He stated that the modular refinery, when operational would be used for experimental training and for teaching purposes, adding that the PTI would engage in the training and retraining of manpower in line with the change mantra of the Muhammadu Buhari administration.
He further assured that the government would continue to support the institute’s mandate of becoming a leading oil and gas capacity development institution in the country that produces the requisite manpower need for the oil and gas industry.
“To realise this vision, I urge students, staff, and management of the institute to give their maximum cooperation to ensure that the Principal achieves the mandate given to him by the Federal Government,” Kachikwu said.
To actualise the institute’s Digital PTI (DiPTI) project, Kachikwu said the Federal Government had appropriated the sum of N200 million in the 2017 budget for the take-off of the project, adding that the government would ensure the release of more funds until the DiPTI dream was achieved.