President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday said that reforming the Petroleum Industry was necessary to unlock numerous untapped potentials for the nation and that he will not be in a rush to carry out reforms.
According to him, the reforms in the industry must be well thought out and must have the best interest of Nigeria and Nigerians as its core objective.
Buhari, who was responding to one of the demands made by the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), had received the award of Grand Comrade of the Productive Workers of the Nigeria Oil and Gas Union, presented by its National President, Comrade Williams Akporegha, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The President also said that his administration was prepared to respond to any acts of hostility and sabotage of the nation’s oil assets in the Niger Delta region.
Stressing that the Petroleum Industry reform was necessary to unlock numerous untapped potentials for the nation, he assured that whatever reforms taking place in the sector must be for the overall interest of the country.
He said “Such reforms cannot and must not be rushed, if we must get it right. We are still suffering from the effects of many legacy policies that were rushed and passed without fully appreciating the consequences the provisions embedded in them.
“Whatever decision we take now will impact either negatively or positively on generations to come. The Petroleum Industry Bill was conceived to ensure Nigeria’s future generations are positively impacted by its oil wealth it was never about shod term gains.
“I want to assure you that dialogue on the Petroleum industry Bill is still on-going. At the end, we will have a bill that the nation will be proud of.”
On security in the Niger Delta, he said, “I am sure you will all agree that pipeline vandalism has declined. We have, and will continue to promote peaceful engagement with the communities while at the same time maintain our readiness to respond to any hostile acts of sabotage.”
He commended the union for their support to government which he said has contributed to the continued uninterrupted supply of products to consumers across the country in the last three years.