The Federal Government says it is targeting to increase crude oil production to two million Barrels Per Day (bdp) and beyond by the end of the year.
Mr Heineken Lokpobiri, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), made this known in a meeting with the Abuja Energy Correspondent Association on Friday in Abuja.
Lokpobiri said the government was working assiduously to ramp up crude oil production to two million bpd by December and beyond by the end of 2023.
“The reason why we are underperforming is because of insecurity and we are gradually tackling those problems.
“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.
“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 said.
The minister said already steadily there was increase in production, adding that as at last month it was 1.1 million barrels while currently it has increased to 1.3 – 1.4 million barrels.
“I get the reports from relevant authorities. Today, we are doing about 1.4 million barrels of crude. So, we are steadily increasing but our target is to see how we can get to two million barrels,” he said.
Lokpobiri, while urging relevant stakeholders to put hands on deck to tackle challenges in the sector said he had been interacting with some of them, including the International Oil Companies and local producers.
He noted that the engagement with them was already yielding results.
“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 will be able to give you how far we have gone in that direction.
He said some of the solutions might not be immediate but once identified there would be provision of a good framework to address those problems.
He said the government was bent on rebuilding the confidence of investors and rekindle the industry to become more competitive.
Earlier, the President of the association, Mr Victor Nnodim, had reiterated the association’s readiness for collaboration and sought the minister’s support in driving his developmental agenda and moving the industry forward.