By Teslim Olawore
Atiku Abubakar, Nigeria’s opposition presidential candidate has promised to boost Nigerian upstream oil and gas production and downstream production by attracting more investments, if he is elected president in the February general elections.
Atiku, presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), will run against incumbent president Muhammadu Buhari, under whose watch Nigeria’s economy suffered from the low oil prices that reduced export revenues. Nigeria’s oil industry also suffered from vandalism, and militant attacks on oil infrastructure in most of 2016 and early 2017.
While unveiling his policy plan on Monday, he pledged more transparency and efficiency in the management of the institutions in the oil and gas industry. If elected president, Atiku’s federal government will work to create an incentive regime to grow oil and gas resource bases, re-consider the introduction of bid rounds for marginal fields and bid rounds for blocks.
Inventors will be incentivized to tap unexploited resources in the mature Niger Delta Basin through policies that will encourage infill drilling, enhanced oil recovery, improved oil recovery, pressure maintenance, and full-field delineation and development. Exploration of the frontier areas inland will also be incentivized, Abubakar said.
The candidate will also incentivize the building of modular refineries in the northern parts of Nigeria, and partially privatize the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), according to his plan.
Atiku also pledged to deploy modern technology in pipeline surveillance and other security enhancements. The candidate promises to intensify the government’s dialog with the local communities in the oil-production regions.
Just last week, Atiku said that Niger Delta communities could keep all of the revenues that the oil-rich province produces. In an interview with the Africa Report, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar suggested that a sharing scheme might still be better for everyone.