Wednesday, February 8, 2023

PIB: Support sale of oil before it loses value, says Sylva to Niger Deltans

The minister said he had extracted a commitment from multinational oil firms to relocate their operational headquarters to the Niger Delta region.

• August 6, 2021
Chief Timipre Sylva
Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva

Timipre Sylva, Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, has asked Niger Deltans to support the production and sale of oil deposits in their region before the natural resource loses its value in the global market.

Mr Sylva said this on Friday in Abuja, when a group of 13 Ijaw elders, leaders, and critical stakeholders led by Timi Ogoriba visited to congratulate him on the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), which has been in the works for over 20 years.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported Mr Sylva saying that there was a need to support efforts to produce and sell the region’s oil and the benefits utilised.

“Today, I can tell you that we are on the last mile of the oil economy. Economies around the world are now discussing renewable fuel.

We must understand that, very soon, we may wake up and find out that oil is not as valuable a commodity as we thought.

“Coal did not finish before the world moved away from it.

There are still a lot of coal deposits in Enugu, but if you give some of it to someone, he may not appreciate it because the world has moved away from coal,” he said.

Commenting on the controversial 3 per cent allocation to oil communities, Mr Sylva said, “We need to have more stakeholders’ engagement on the three per cent allocated to the communities. People need to know that it is from production costs, not from profit.”

Further explaining that the production cost was always higher than the profits, Mr Sylva said the federal government would engage the region by sensitising them on the issue.

“We are planning, alongside the Minister of Information and Culture, to hold town hall meetings in the host communities after the presidential assent to the PIB,” Mr Sylva said.

Tasking host communities on effective management of the funds, the minister decried the situation where communities in the Bonny Island could not access funds paid to them by the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Company (NLNG).

The minister said he had extracted a commitment from multinational oil firms to relocate their operational headquarters to the Niger Delta region.

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