The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, on Thursday, said the $9.6billion that a British court asked the Federal Government to pay to the Process and Industrial Developments Limited (P&ID) for a gas processing and supply agreement would not be honoured.
The P&ID deal was sealed in 2012 amid mutual recriminations and claims of fraud, while the $9.6 billion was built up through accrued interest payments.
Speaking while defending the budget of his ministry before a joint committee of the National Assembly on Petroleum Resources at the House of Representatives, Sylva said the “The P& ID is fraudulent and Nigeria would not pay” the fine.
He told the Joint Committee headed by Sen. Bassey Akpan (Akwa Ibom-PDP), that the ministry would renovate all the refineries in the country before 2023.
“All refineries will be functional by the end of this dispensation,” the minister assured the panel.
The minister also disclosed that Bauchi State “would definitely be an oil-producing state in a few years, because the reserves there, are in commercial quantities,” but said, “I don’t know yet if Anambra is a prospective oil or gas basin, but I will find out.”
The Ministry had a few days ago, announced the discovery of oil in the Northeast.
He, however, assured that “more jobs would come on stream, during this dispensation. I can assure you that a lot will begin to happen, during this dispensation.”
He also implored the National Assembly, to provide adequate funding for the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to enable the downstream-policing agency, to check sharp practices in the industry.
“For DPR to be everywhere, they must be well funded. They police the downstream sector, including the ports, so I will plead for adequate funding for them,” he said.