The Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, has vowed to prosecute oil theives in the country if elected come 2023.
He stated this during an interactive session with broad spectrum of corporate Nigerians under the aegis of Business Dialogue Stakeholders Forum at the Eko hotel in Lagos.
In the interest of the country’s development, Atiku also declared that he would seize all oil blocks that had been given to Nigerians who had not yet made them operational.
When elected to office, the former vice president pledged to maintain regular dialogue between the government and the nation’s business community. He also laid out the strategies he would use to address what he described as a failing economy.
“If you are not going to develop oil blocs given to you, we will take it away and give it to those who will develop it. We will also assemble the names of those involved in oil theft, publish same and prosecute them,” Atiku told the stakeholders.
Regarding his plans to expand the oil and gas industry, Atiku recalled that the oil production quota was set to rise to four million barrels per day during the tenure of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
When he is elected to office the following year, that plan, he said, would be revived and sustained beyond the projected amount. He added that in order to do this successfully, the Petroleum Industry Act and any other enabling laws would be invoked.
“When we were in government, we started this process. However, there were hiccups. We were unable to pass the legislation to encourage IOCs to partake in the sector. We will go back to where we started,” he said.
He added that the Brass and Olokola LNG projects, which were initiated by the Obasanjo administration, will receive greater focus under his administration. “We will continue if the opportunity presents itself. As you are aware, investor-driven joint ventures are advantageous,” he stated.
He also reaffirmed his intention to privatize the refineries in Kaduna, Port Harcourt, and Warri, telling the entrepreneurs, “I swear to God that I will privatize them.”