A new national gas policy expected to transform the oil sector in Nigeria by concentrating on gas has been approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) recently.
The FEC presided over by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo also ratified a new national employment policy which would guide the government on how to provide accommodation for people with disabilities, as well as other contemporary issues in the labour market such as decent job programmes as well as address environmental pollution issues among others.
The State Minister for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, joined by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige and the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed told journalists after the meeting that the new oil policy will bring orderliness to the management of petroleum resources in the country.
The minister said the ministry would partner with the National Assembly to come up with legislation to back up the new oil policy. He said that the essence of the 100-page gas policy is how to transform Nigeria from an oil producing country to a gas-producing nation.
Kachikwu explained that the Federal Government was working to exit the country from the importation of fuel by 2019 and allow the oil sector to fund itself through incremental volume of production.
“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.‘’
He said the document which entails the reorganisation of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) for efficiency and accountability as well 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, ten years ago. Also briefing reporters, Ngige said the employment policy being operated in Nigeria was approved 14 years ago and have come short of the contemporary changes in the labour and employment industry.
He explained that the new policy with technical assistance from International Labour Organisations (ILO) and major stakeholders like employers and unions seeks to capture “the relevant affected persons” in order to fight unemployment and underemployment.
The FEC also received the National Social Protection Policy, which seeks to provide social justice, equity and inclusive growth using a transformative mechanism for mitigating poverty and unemployment in Nigeria.
Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed explained that the policy further seeks to ensure that every Nigerian gets at least a minimum of what is required in terms of human development and protection.
She explained that the Federal Government’s school feeding programme, N-Power scheme and other social intervention programmes rolled out to provide employment to unemployment graduates were drawn from the policy