The Federal Government has no plans to change the way the country sells its crude oil as there is no problem with the current system, said the Minister of Petroleum, Mrs Dieziani Allison-Madueke to journalists on Thursday after an OPEC meeting in Vienna, Austria.
Nigeria is one of the only oil exporting companies, that uses middle-men to sell its oil. This enables government officials to embark on lucrative deals that enrich them personally to the detriment of the entire country.
A report from Reuters had said that there has been intense pressure on the Federal Government to clean up the oil sector, which is Africa’s biggest, after public anger over corruption and waste the country’s oil wealth came up during January’s protests over oil prices.
A study published by the former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr. Nuhu Ribadu, showed that some $5bn in potential revenue had been lost between 2002-2011 because state oil firm, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, had been selling itself oil at cut-down prices.
Allison-Madueke said there were no plans at present to reform the operations of NNPC, adding that government will look at the entire results and balance and ensure we implement according to the white paper.
She also said on Wednesday that it is expected that Nigeria’s production levels for next year will hover around the 2.4 to 2.5 million barrels per day output as at present.
The minister said that production had recovered since a major fire at a Shell facility, an Exxon spill and severe flooding cut oil output by a fifth in October and November and caused lengthy export delays.
“I expect it at least to stabilise (next year). The problems have been flooding and bunkering and some vandalism, which have disrupted pipeline services,” she said.