The federal government has set a target of 2 million barrels per day (bdp) of oil output by the end of December 2023.
According to Heineken Lokpobiri, minister of state for petroleum, who revealed this at a meeting with Abuja energy correspondents on Friday, efforts were on to increase crude oil production volume.
“Our target is to see how we can get to 2 million barrels per day and beyond by the end of the year. The reason why we are underperforming is because of insecurity and we are gradually tackling those problems,” Lokpobiri said.
“My sole agenda is to increase production, once we increase production we will get more revenue for the country. You know Nigeria is still more dependent on oil. For us to solve our problems and begin to earn enough forex.
“Though the non-oil sector is also supporting the economy, a substantial part of our forex comes from oil. So my ambition is to see how I can lead the sector to increase production so that we can get more revenue to deal with the fund and strategic rationale projects in the country.”
He mentioned the growth in oil production, adding that as of Friday, production had risen to 1.4 million barrels, up from 1.1 million barrels in September.
Lokpobiri, who credited the increase in production to engagements with sector players, stated that in order to meet the target, all hands must be on deck.
“I get the reports from relevant authorities. Today, we’re doing about 1.4 million barrels of crude. So we are steadily increasing but our target is to see how we can get to 2 million barrels and beyond by the end of the year. I have had cause to interact with some of the stakeholders in the sector and that engagement with them is already yielding results,” he said.
“That’s why you are seeing a steady rise in production but we still have a long way to go. We have identified where the problem is, and where we are getting the shortfall and we are already engaging them within the next few weeks, we’ll be able to give you how far we have gone in that direction.
“What I can assure you is that I have had the privilege of engaging all the stakeholders beginning with the international oil companies (IOCs) to the independent producers, local producers, those in the midstream and downstream as well as those in the local refinery were are just trying to get their problems one after the other and once we identified their problem we are willing and already to provide solution.
“I want to assure you, we’ve just been here for a few weeks. I’ve been here for less than two months. I assure you that by the end of the year, there will be a visible difference in performance and productivity.
“We will increase production and also ensure how we can rekindle the confidence of the industry to become more competitive in all countries in Africa and all countries in the world,” he said.