The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved a new National Oil Policy for the country.
FEC, presided over by Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, yesterday, also approved a National Employment Policy that will guide the Federal Government on its plans to create jobs for the country’s teaming population.
Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachukwu, who was joined by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige and the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, told State House correspondents that the new oil policy will bring orderliness to the management of petroleum resources in the country
Kachukwu explained that the Federal Government was working deliberately to exit the country from the importation of fuel by 2019 and allow the oil sector to fund itself through incremental volume of production.
He said the new oil policy approved by FEC is a 100-page document, which entails the reorganisation of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) for efficiency and accountability as well as issues in the Niger Delta that have to do with enabling government to focus on stability and consistency in the sector.
The petroleum minister said that the last time a comprehensive review of the oil policy was done was in 2007.
“We are working assiduously to exit the importation of fuel in 2019 and capture the cash calls change we have done, which enables the sector to fund itself through incremental volumes, it captures the reorganisation in the NNPC for efficiency and enable accountability.
“It captures the issues in the Niger Delta and what we needed to do as a government to focus on stability and consistency in the sector. It is a very comprehensive 100-page document that deals with all the spectrums in the industry,” he added.
This comes a month after a National Gas Policy was approved by Council to drive changes in policy that will make gas a hub of the nation’s economy.
The gas policy document, built on the policy goals of the Federal Government for the gas sector as presented in the 7 Big Wins initiative was developed by the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and the National Economic Recovery & Growth Plan (ERGP 2017-2020).
According to Kachikwu, the new oil policy is necessitated by the dynamics in the sector such as fluidity in pricing and uncertainty in terms of regime in crude.
With the implementation of the policy, the petroleum minister assured that Nigerians will soon see changes in the refining of petroleum products.
He said that there will also be changes in how Nigeria sells its crude while considering a lot of geographical markets regarding long term contracting and sales as opposed to the systemic contracting that the government has been involved in the past.
In his remarks, Ngige said the new national employment policy was coming 14 years after the one approved in 2002.
He said: “The last employment policy we have been operating in Nigeria was approved in 2002, that’s 14 years and in that 14 years, a lot of things have changed in labour and employment industry.”
The labour minister noted that the new policy will take care of employment for people with disabilities, decent jobs programme and doing jobs without polluting the environment as well as other things that are new and contemporary in the labour market.
Speaking on the planned review of the national minimum wage, the labour minister said the Federal Government has concluded its part of nominating members into the approved negotiation committee and was awaiting nomination from the organised labour.
According to him, government has also concluded plans to appoint the chairman for the committee, but was awaiting executive approval.
He said: “On the issue of the minimum wage, you were here in May, when council passed the composition of the minimum wage committee. We have since then gone into action to appoint the government representatives, with the secretariat residing in the office of the national salaries and wages commission with the chairman there as secretary.
The minister of labour is deputy chairman.”
Meanwhile, council also approved a National Social Protection Policy that is geared towards providing social justice, equity and inclusive growth in Nigeria.
While speaking on the issue, Ahmed said the policy is a framework which seeks to provide social justice, equity and inclusive growth using a transformative mechanism for mitigating poverty and unemployment in Nigeria.
For a better society