By Lawrence Olaoye
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved over $3 billion for the establishment of oil and gas parks in Akwa-Ibom and Bayelsa states
FEC also approved the sum of two billion, four hundred and thirteen million, nine hundred and sixty three thousand thirty five naira seventy five kobo (N2,413,963,035.75) for the procurement of aviation security equipment and training.
The Council chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday at the Presidential Villa also okayed the sum of N581 million for the construction of bouys on River Niger for the Nigerian Inland Waterways.
Briefing newsmen after the meeting, Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Timipre Silva, said he presented two memos to the Council for the establishment of Oil and Gas Parks in Akwa-Ibom an Bayelsa states.
“These parks are to support the development and manufacturing of oil and gas tools. As some of you know, in some countries, service sector of the oil industry is sometimes even bigger than the oil industry itself. Unfortunate in Nigeria that sector has not really grown so much. Now this administration is really committed to developing the service sector and that is why the oil and gas parks are being built. These parks will create a lot of jobs, we are looking at about 1000 additional jobs and of course it will also improve the security of the Niger Delta,” he explained.
Asked why Nigeria continued to lose money by not activating the Deep Offshore Act, the minister said “Most of these laws are old already and they need to be amended. The amendment of these bills really portends a lot for us. There are a lot of missed opportunities already. The previous law provided that when oil prices went beyond twenty dollars, we are supposed to negotiate and get some additional revenues. We didn’t take advantage of that and of course, when we approached the oil companies, the oil companies said look, this is a lost opportunity, its not lost money because this money is not just there, it is not being kept in some cupboard. So, of course, it is a lost opportunity, we have to do something quickly to ensure that we don’t lose this opportunity in the future. That is why we have to ensure that this bill is passed. With this bill now, there will be some adjustments in the fiscal regime and we believe that the government will get a lot from the oil companies, especially their deep shore exploration activities.”
Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, said “Today in council two memoranda were considered for and also the International Civi Aviation Organisation, ICAO.
The second memoranda that was considered and approved by council today was the ratification of the instrument of International Civil Aviation Organisation Treaties. They are five in number, there is the protocol to amend the convention for the separation of unlawful seizure of aircraft which is called The Hague Convention of 1970.
The other one is protocol to amend the convention for the separation of unlawful acts against safety of civil aviation which is the Montréal Convention of 1971. Another one is the protocol to amend the convention on offences and certain other acts committed on board aircraft. This one also is called the Montréal Protocol of 2014.
The fourth one is protocol to amend Article 50 (a) of the convention on International Civil Aviation Organisation, ICAO, called the Chicago Convention of December 1944. The fifth one is the protocol to amend Article 56 of the Convention of International Civil Aviation Organisation, the ICAO Convention, December 1944 at Montreal. The significance of all of these is to improve safety and security.”
Minister of State, Transportation, Gbemisola Saraki, told journalists that the Council approved the sum of N581 million for the purchase and installation of 300 buoys on the River Niger for the Nigerian Waterways.
According to her, the six month contract will create approximately 120 direct jobs and many other indirect ones.