The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, has said that Nigeria had an obligation to pursue oil exploration in the North-East and other areas with signs of possible availability.
He said this during “Overview of 2018 Budget Proposal” on Tuesday in Abuja.
Kachikwu said “we have an obligation as a nation to continue to ensure that we follow through any part of the country with visible sign of oil at all.
“This does not stop the fact that massive exploration activities will continue in oil producing areas.
“We discover oil every day and we explore it and if we calculate the overall oil revenue projection for 2018, it is almost 60 per cent, so we need to expand the frontiers of oil anywhere we find it in the country.”
He, however, said his philosophy was that it should not be only the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) that should explore for oil in the North-East.
Kachikwu also disclosed that the Federal Government was trying to encourage the private sector to commit resources to exploring for oil by coming up with policies and incentives that would facilitate their participation.
Also at the event, the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, said the nation needed to re-invent the culture of tax payment, adding that the era when people paid tax only when it was convenient for them or asked for benefits for tax paid before doing so was over.
According to her, only 14 million people pay tax out of the 69 million working population in Nigeria.
She said the figure indicated that most of the tax payers were civil servants and other formal sector workers, while the high net individuals did not pay taxes or pay the right amount of tax.
Adeosun said that the federal government would in 2018, ensure that the rest of the working population that had not been captured would be captured on the nation’s tax database.
She also said that the federal government had not approved tax holidays for any company operating in the country, adding that companies were only given tax credits.
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