Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, has said that the Federal Government hopes to end militancy in the Niger Delta region by the end of this year.
He made the disclosure at the 10th annual conference of the Nigerian Association for Energy Economics (NAEE), organised in conjunction with the International Association of Energy Economics (IAEE).
Represented by the Director-General of the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), Dr. Bello Aliyu Gusau, the minister said efforts of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo in dialoguing with stakeholders in the oil-rich Niger Delta region achieved tremendous success as there had been no attack oil facilities in recent months.
He said the Federal Government was poised to ensure that the peace is sustained.
Kachikwu added that plans were afoot to come up with new policies to regulate operations in the region, to avoid environmental pollution and degradation.
“The government is now more focused on making the business environment in the country very conducive for Nigerians and investors. We are unleashing oil and gas solutions to create wealth, protect the environment and improve local production in all spheres of the economy. We will sustain stakeholder engagement and we are determined to stop militancy by 2017.
“We will also adopt good stakeholder management and all these initiatives are time-focused targets. We are also developing a new national oil and gas policy that will work well with the Petroleum Industry Bill,” he said.
President of NAEE, Prof. Wumi Iledare, described the annual conference as a platform to advance the knowledge of energy economics as it brings together all stakeholders for fruitful brainstorming: “It provides a forum for the exchange of ideas. It has always been successful as the ninth edition had over 250 participants.
“This year’s edition seeks innovative ideas for the right energy for sustainable economic growth without compromising the environment.”
He urged the Federal Government to involve the academia as consultants to help review and evolve good policies and strategies that would grow the nation’s economy.
“Government should get technocrats to pilot the economy and help tackle inflation and other challenges. Engaging the academia to review government’s policies is also good. They can serve as technocrats advising the government,” he said.