Gas projects to create 30,000 new jobs in Nigeria

Nov 12, 2003 01:00 AM

About 30,000 new jobs will be created by 2005 when the various gas projects being executed by the Federal Government and its Joint Venture Partners are expected to come on stream. The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Engineer Funso Kupolokun, who made this known in Abuja, said part of the reforms being carried out in the oil sector was also aimed at creating new jobs.
The gas projects include the Nigeria LNG Bonny Plant expansion where three new trains (production lines) are to be built, the $ 3 bn Brass LNG, the $ 500 mm West African Gas Pipeline (WAGP) and the various gas gathering projects being executed by major oil firms including Shell and ChevronTexaco. Kupolokun said in line with the objective to create more jobs while restructuring, the Federal Government has given the NNPC a clear mandate on what to deliver between now and the end of the tenure of the present administration.

The targets, he said, include:
-- continuing the programmefor gas monetisation, Independent power projects and gas flare-out within a given time frame;
-- capture economic value of gas and generate as much revenue from gas within a decade;
-- continue to support genuine investments in the upstream sector;
-- increase reserves and productibility to specific levels and push for higher OPEC quota and
-- conclude the downstream liberalisation and privatisation of the refineries in a timely manner.

Kupolokun said the NNPC management has mapped out strategies to further develop the oil and gas sectors. He added that the farm-out agreement for the 24 marginal oil fields would be signed between operators and multinational oil companies. The marginal field operators and the oil majors (the original lease holders of the fields) have been drawn in a protracted negotiation for the transfer of ownership in the past five months.
In an address to members of the House of Representatives at a dinner party for the lawmakers, Kupolokun said that government's effort to generate maximum income from the sector has led to the on-going process to monetise gas resources. He added that further actions are in the pipeline to raise the level of indigenous participation in the upstream operations.

On the effort to curb the vandalisation of pipeline facilities, which has cost the country more than 300,000 barrels of crude oil and petroleum products, Kupolokun said his organisation would soon embark on a massive “road show” to educate the people on the multiple damage. In his remark, the Presidential Adviser on Petroleum Matters, Dr Edmund Dakouru, commended the decision of the new NNPC management for holding the event. He added that the action has demonstrated the willingness to engage in positive interaction with stakeholders in developing the oil and gas sector.
He solicited the co-operation of the legislative arm of government in the process to move the industry forward. The Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives, Alhaji Bello Masari, assured the new management of the NNPC of maximum co-operation of the House provided it remained open, transparent and focused in the operation of the oil industry.

Masari regretted the situation of things during the tenure of corporation's last management, which he described as a mess. Part of his grouse was the apparent inability of those entrusted with the management of the nation's oil resources to carry the people along and to ensure prudence in their conduct.
The Speaker also complained of the state of the Kaduna and Warri refineries, which have remained shut despite huge investments made towards their Turn-Around Maintenance. He noted that the nation has lost enormous amount of money through some avoidable leakages in the system and hopes that a stop will be put to it. Masari attributed the frequent misgivings between the previous management and the lawmakers to lack of trust.
"We hope that this is a new beginning. Though it might be too early to judge the new team, but we must however let you know that what Nigerians expect from the corporation is transparency, honesty and good management of resources," he advised.

Source: Thisday
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