HC Deb 08 May 1957 vol 569 c972
42. Mr. Sydney Irving

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies to what extent commercial production of petroleum is planned in Nigeria; and how far the Nigerian Government will participate in the exploitation and use of the oil recently discovered.

Mr. Profumo

Plans for commercial production cannot be prepared until the results are known of production tests which the oil companies hope to begin in the latter half of this year. It is also not yet possible to say whether any oil produced can be used locally.

It is not the present intention that any of the Nigerian Governments should actually participate in any exploitation that takes place but they would of course benefit by way of royalties and taxation.

Mr. Irving

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that it has already been announced in the Federal House of Representatives that Shell/B.P. is proposing to start production at a rate of 325,000 tons a year in January? Does he not think it is urgent that the local Government should be brought into participation in the matter?

Mr. Profumo

I have not the information which the hon. Member has.