COVID-19: Nigeria’s Oil Sector Could Collapse, Kachikwu Warns
The former minister of state for petroleum, Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu has said that some bullish steps need to be taken in the wake of COVID-19 to keep the industry stabilized, or the sector may collapse.
Kachikwu said time was ripe for Nigeria to take critical step to tackle the COVID-19-induced strain on the nation’s oil and gas sector.
The former Minister who spoke via his personal website said: “Since leaving office, I have been off the radar, owing to the need to depressurize after four years of constant public exposure and the resultant stress”.
“There is a lot to worry about, and a lot of urgency needs to be given to the tasks needed to save this sector. If you followed me in my twilight years in office, you will remember my famous ‘URGENCY OF NOW’ clarion call and the speed with which I raced to seek solutions for this sector as though time was running out!
“And time is truly running out. I know that those at the helm of affairs in this sector, both public and private, are doing a lot to stabilise it.
“Nigeria needs to go back to the drawing board to figure out the right approach to this sector. It cannot be business as usual anymore and some of the new bold decisions being taken reflect this. However, the time has come to be BULLISH, or the sector will collapse.
Speaking further, Kachikwu said while his team had some dreams that never materialised like the refinery revamp and passage of the PIB, however, warned that “For this country to be economically stable, these are still critical must-dos. I do hope that the Government will continue to focus on them and many more.”
He appreciated Nigerians for their unwavering support while he served as minister of state for petroleum.
“As my team and I worked, we effected bold transformations in the Petroleum sector, crossed many turbulent bridges, and tasked the tolerance of Nigerians. From the fuel price adjustment to deregulation and introduction of a modulation policy, early lease renewal programs, the popular 7 Big Wins project, the restructuring of NNPC, etc., we got your unequivocal support, and I am most appreciative.
“Of course, there were many dreams we had that never quite materialised, like the refinery revamp and passage of the PIB. For this country to be economically stable, these are still critical must-dos. I do hope that the Government will continue to focus on them and many more.”
He commended government’s effort in containing the COVID-19 outbreak in Nigeria. “For now, I commend all Government functionaries in the Health, Petroleum and Financial sectors, and many private sector captains who led the intervention so far recorded. A lot more targeted efforts need to be done by all sectors and I will be discussing this soon. We have made a good beginning though.
“I will stop here… for now… and until next time, I will say again a big ‘Thank You’ to all Nigerians.”