President Muhammadu Buhari has said that the cost of oil production has become unnecessarily high in the country.
He made this known in a statement made available by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, at the State House in Abuja on Wednesday while meeting with members of the Independent Petroleum Producers Association.
In the statement, Buhari assured oil producers that his administration would take appropriate actions to maintain and enhance security in their areas of operation, noting that better security would help to lower production costs, which, he said, had become unnecessarily high in the country.
Assuring indigenous companies operating in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector of the full support and protection of his administration, Buhari commended their determination to increase the participation of Nigerians in the country’s oil industry and promised to do all within his powers to address the challenges which they currently face.
The president also directed the management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to work more closely with the indigenous oil producers to resolve the problems which they enumerated to him.
“We have the manpower for a more effective participation in our oil industry. We will give you all possible encouragement. You certainly won’t be ignored under my leadership,” President Buhari told members of the association which represents about 20 Nigerian companies operating mainly on onshore fields.
The statement also quoted Buhari as commending ongoing efforts by the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and National Orientation to generate more revenue through its various agencies.
Shehu said the president spoke after a briefing by Mrs Nkechi Ejele, the permanent secretary in the ministry, thanked her for “a very good presentation” and promised that his government will support the ministry’s activities.
The presidential aide said Ejele presented proposals to Buhari, including the easing of visas for tourists and the establishment of a tourism development fund.