The president also admitted that oil and gas still remained a critical enabler for the successful implementation of his budget as well as the source of funds for laying a strong foundation for a new and more diversified economy.
He said: “There is also a dire need to instil a new culture of transparency and efficiency in the industry, streamline operations along best practices by championing and implementing strategic reforms at every layer of the industry.
Buhari said that if Nigeria was able to plug the leakages, and tighten loose systems that characterised the industry in the days of high oil prices, the country could do more with the little that it is getting at the moment than in the time of plenty.
The president noted that recent developments in the Niger Delta had temporarily limited the nation’s oil and gas production and supplies.
The president acknowledged the importance of the public, the media, local and foreign investors and other critical stakeholders in the oil and gas industry and appealed for their support and cooperation.
Buhari said creativity, innovation, technology and robust partnership amongst various stakeholders were required to get the best from the industry.
He said that the Niger Delta state governors would have to meet to decide which cross boarder infrastructure the fund would be expended on.
He said Buhari would also seek to review the way 13 per cent derivation allocation to the oil producing states is applied by beneficiary states.
He said: “The president is also reviewing the proposal we gave him to look at how the 13 per cent derivation is applied. Right now it is a budgeting tool for state governments. We are going to be appealing to them to begin to put that into the core areas of the oil producing communities. And not just see it as a budgeting number.”
On transparency in the oil sector, he said that the adoption of Treasury Single Account (TSA) had assisted to tackle corruption in the industry by bringing all its funds into one account.
According to him, on the back of the review, a lot of oil and gas investors are pushing to come back and invest heavily in the country’s oil and gas sector.
Kachikwu also said there were plans by the government to review the mechanism of securing oil and gas installations in the country to conform with standard practices as obtained in other oil and gas producing climes.
The launched policy document is couched in ‘The 7 Big Wins,’ theme, which borders on policy and regulation, business environment and investment drive, gas revolution, refineries and local production capacity, Niger Delta and security, transparency and efficiency, as well as stakeholder management and international co-ordination.
The minister projected an explosion of investment, saying oil companies were planning to make a big splash with projects and backed by huge money as they return to the country.