Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has said that the country’s oil and gas sector has been held down by a few interest groups for so long.
The minister, however, promised that his ministry was working hard to unlock the sector through the 7BigWins initiative launched by the president last year.
Kachikwu who disclosed this recently in Abuja while receiving a report compiled by professional Nigerians in Diaspora said the whole essence of the 7BigWins was to point Nigerians to opportunities in the sector.
“The oil sector has been too locked down by a few interest groups for so long, positively or negatively but the time has come to open it up to Nigerians,” he said.
“We’ve devoted ourselves to a level of openness because the resource isn’t ours, we are just gatekeepers in the management of this resource and so it is our responsibility to help every Nigerian who has an idea, no matter how mundane, to see how that idea can come to fruition,” he added.
“During the Offshore Technology Conference, I announced the concept of Project 100, which is trying to identify 100 Nigerians with skill, capacity and the energy required to make in-roads into certain sectors. And I’ve told the ministry to identify their handicaps and how we can help them to get to the finish line. That’s something that I’m going to be working on very seriously.”
Speaking on behalf of the Aberdeen Contingent and Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation, Dr. Paul Eke said that over 70 Nigerian oil and gas professionals convened a conference before coming out with the report that was presented to the ministry recently.