The Federal Government of Nigeria has begun talks with oil companies and banks in a bid to raise capital for new drilling and to pay the to $4bn debt that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has accumulated over years of mismanagement.

The Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, told Reuters that the government is embarking on plans to increase crude oil output to 2.5 million barrels per day by the end of 2016.

Under President Muhammadu Buhari, the reformation of the oil sector has been top priority amidst a dwindling price of crude oil on the global stage.

In his effort to do this, he fired the NNPC board and appointed Kachikwu entrusting him with the responsibilities of making the needed changes that can lead to the proper management of the corporation.

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Nigeria’s oil and gas output has been relatively stagnant as big offshore projects have been held up by much-delayed government funding and uncertainty over fiscal terms.

According to the minister, the debt as of November stood at $3.5bn-$4bn, which the NNPC wanted to cut through deals such as a $1.2bn multi-year drilling financing signed with Chevron in September.

He said, “The target is that over 2017, we’ll begin to look at zero,” he said in an interview, referring to debt and the goal of ending the need for the JVs to depend on the NNPC cash.

“My ideal will be to bring in third party capital, do a joint investment and management of the refineries and work out a pay-out process over five to six years basically on lifting of some portion of the finished products,” Kachikwu said.

The NNPC is leaving no stone unturned as it seeks to form a strong alliance that can aid it in restructuring the organisation.