Nigerian oil prices will pick up significantly – Minister of State, Petroleum Resources

by Aviwe Mtila 0

Nigeria’s Minister of State, Petroleum Resources and Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Emmanuel Kachikwu, is optimistic about the short-term rise in oil prices saying it will pick up significantly.

Speaking to CNBC Africa at the 6th African Petroleum congress and exhibition, Kachikwu, says that Nigeria needs to reorganise its administrative systems in petroleum for better efficiency.

“What is important is that irrespective of what the price of oil is, and I’m very optimistic that by the end of the year we’ll be able to average at around the 45 to 50 dollar range, irrespective of that, make the very best use of that little income that you have coming out of oil,” says Kachikwu.

The oil price took a huge knock, averaging over 100 dollars a barrel in 2014 to just under 30 dollars in January 2016.

Although Kachikwu says the fuel scarcity is over, he says applying technology to distribution will tackle scarcity and fuel diversion. Petrol stations in Lagos and other parts of the country were shut following a sharp drop in the supply of petrol to the market.  Minister blames infrastructural deficits and refineries that haven’t been working for the scarcity.

“We are trying to refurbish our infrastructure because without infrastructure, you really can’t do much,” says Kachikwu.

Kachikwu says Nigeria is focussing on expropriating earnings from oil into other areas of the country. He mentions agriculture and mining as some of these areas.

“The first thing is diversification. Secondly, his excellency, the President Muhammadu Buhari, has put in a lot of energy into making sure that we’re focussing on costs. We are also reaching out to all countries of the world to get them to view Nigeria as an investment destination,” says Kachikwu.