Timipre Sylva, minister of state for petroleum resources, says Nigeria is currently a laughing stock in the way it operates business in the oil and gas sector.
Sylva said this in Abuja when he hosted delegates from Total Exploration and Production, Nigeria, led by Mike Sangster, its managing director.
The minister said the country must bring down the cost of production of its crude oil in order to prevent further loss.
“We have to bring down our cost of production of crude, as we are presently a laughing stock in the way we do our business,” he said.
Sylva said the practice of selling the country’s asset as perpetuated by some international oil companies is wrong.
He said the reserves in the country were growing lesser than expected, adding that it was time the country produced more.
“Those assets are amortised assets; you can’t sell what you don’t have,” he said.
“The quicker we produce our oil, the better for us. The industry has to grow. We need to look at exploration. Our reserves are growing far less than expected.”
The minister also said he is working with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to address issues with the national assembly, including the petroleum industry governance bill (PIGB).
“We need to tidy up the regulatory environment with the National Assembly. I have called the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation for us to meet with the National Assembly and have a timeline which we can announce to the world,” he said.
“We also need to harmonise the laws so that we don’t have too many with which we can regulate the industry.”