Nigeria planning to build three new refineries
Three new refineries are to be built by the government to complement the ailing ones constructed in the mid 70’s by the military administrations. This is part of the move to end fuel importation and boost job creation. Vice President Namadi Sambo said that bold steps have been taken to grow the economy through the construction of 3 new refineries, 10 thermal stations in strategic locations, and two hydro power plants to improve electricity supply.
“Contracts for the construction of East West roads and rehabilitation of the Lagos -Abuja railway lines have been awarded by the government to boost transportation system in the country,” the vice president added.
Labour and Productivity Minister, Emeka Wogu, said that the government has signed the Employee Compensation Act into law to address incidents of workers who lose parts of their body or life in the course of carrying out national assignment.
According to him, in addition to compensation for physical injury, there is now provision for compensation for mental stress, occupational disease, hearing impairment, vocational rehabilitation, as well as health care and disability support.
The Act also provides for an open and fair system of guaranteed and adequate compensation for all employees in the public and private sectors.
It establishes a solvent compensation fund managed in the interest of employees and employers for compensation to employees or their dependants for any death, injury, disability or disease arising from the course of employment.
Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) President Abdulwaheed Omar, lauded the fairness of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the government in the elections.
“To us, we believe that despite the flaws, April 16, 2011 Presidential poll and other elections conducted by the INEC have, to a large extent, met international minimum standards of transparency, fairness, and letting the votes count,” he said.
Former Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Managing Director, Funsho Kupolokun, argued that Nigeria is the weak link in the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
“And Nigeria’s position is rather vulnerable in the face of price fluctuation dictating a compelling need for sustained activity to grow oil reserves and production capacity as well as optimal terms for revenue maximisation,” Kupolokun stressed.
He explained that in trying to fashion out a fiscal regime that gives the government maximum revenue, the fiscal scheme must ensure optimal terms as too lenient or too tough conditions would generate only minimal revenue. In his view, an appropriate fiscal scheme should be progressive, flexible, simple, transparent, consistency with prospectivity, broad base development, and compliant.
“Government take is automatically responsive to different project costs and price conditions through a self adjusting mechanism. Government take must be appropriate for the level of prospectivity in order not to deter exploration.”
Kupolokun added that while oil companies fund exploration, development, and operations expense to the extent of the working interest (equity in the licence), “All work programmes and budgets are subject to approval by the partners. A joint operating agreement governs the relationship between the parties.”
Kupolokun said the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) now in the National Assembly (NASS) seeks wide ranging reforms, particularly addressing the three main issues of institutional reforms, legal framework for operation, and fiscal reforms.
“While the PIB is aimed at complete transformation of the industry, the unintended delay in combination with other issues – including security concerns, funding, partners non alignment, infrastructure inadequacy, human capacity shortage, contract cycle time etc. – combine to pose significant challenges to industry vibrancy and indeed impede growth of oil reserves and production, gas availability and national content development.”
NAEE President Adeola Adenikinju explained that the theme of the conference, “Green energy and energy security: options for Africa,” was chosen to create awareness and diversify the country’s energy resources. Adenikinju expressed the hope that the participants would discover the cheapest source of energy for Nigerians.