Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, minister of state for petroleum resources, says he is ready to clarify misunderstandings on the renewal of oil mining leases.
In a statement issued by Idang Alibi, director of press in the ministry, on Friday, Kachikwu denied handing out illegal rebates and discounts that denied the government revenue.
According to the statement, the early lease renewal programme introduced by Kachikwu is a way of earning revenue for the government.
“The Ministry of Petroleum Resources would like to affirm most definitely that there are no irregularities associated with any lease renewal undertaken by the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and particular, the Department of Petroleum Resources,” the statement read.
“It would be of essence to note that the early lease renewal programme is a process ingeniously developed to expand and speed up earning potential from the renewal programme for the Federal Government and to also create security of title to leaseholders so as to allow them continue the massive investments needed to improve production from their fields.
“The Minister of State and the DPR await the advertised invitation from the House of Representatives, and as always, would respond to clarify any misunderstandings the House may have on the renewed leases as part of the normal oversight functions of the Assembly.”
The renewal process is said to begin with an application from the leaseholder and end with a recommendation for approval by President Muhammadu Buhari who doubles as the minister of petroleum resources.
Early in January, Kachikwu said all oil blocks due for renewal would be approved in the first quarter of 2019, adding that over $2 billion dollars had been generated from the early renewal policy to fund the budget.
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