Stakeholders in the Nigerian oil and gas industry have called on the Federal Government to establish an energy bank with the aim of providing indigenous companies with funds to develop oil and gas assets, due to recent declaration by international financial institutions to stop financing fossil fuels projects. The initiative, they claim will avert impending energy crisis that could emerge on the sideline of energy transition.
This view dominated the positions of panelists who spoke at the ongoing 39th Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE) Pre-Conference workshop programme with the theme: “The Next Decade of Oil and Gas Business in Nigeria: Impact of Energy Transition”.
Olumide Esan, Senior Partner & Africa Energy Tax Lead, Deloitte Nigeria, speaking on Impact of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) on the future of the Nigerian Energy Landscape, said indigenous oil and gas investors who are acquiring assets of IOCs need energy bank that will provide funds at lower interest rates for them to develop their onshore operations.
He said, “Nigeria needs to focus more on industrialization and save itself of the shock of energy transition.
“Opportunities must be given to indigenous players to develop oil and gas assets, as most Nigerian banks are not willing to expose themselves to funding exploration and production (E&P) of oil and gas sector.
“The energy bank would de-risk marginal field operators from the competitive edge that most IOCs has over them in the sector,” Esan said.
Dr. Kenny Ladipo, retired Geologist and Energy Consultant, while adding his voice to the call for Energy bank disclosed that a buffer needed to be put in place as a strategy to address the funding challenges facing indigenous oil and gas investors.
He stated that major oil and gas assets and resources will be stranded if urgent provisions through funding and incentives are not made available for indigenous players to develop the country’s vast reserves of oil and gas.
Meanwhile, Alero Onosode, Chairperson, Nigerian Content Consultative Forum (NCCF) Diversity Sectorial Working Group, while speaking on the sub-theme: “Future of employment and careers in the oil and gas industry in Nigeria”, urged the federal government to pay more attention to developing talents and homegrown solutions for the domestic oil and gas sector.
She charged the government to provide funds for the incubation of knowledge needed to upscale the domestic oil and gas industry.
She said, “The experienced hands in the oil and gas industry must be offered opportunity to mentor and develop indigenous manpower and technological needs for the emerging energy industry.
“Governance and collaboration are two key factors needed to leverage on existing oil and gas resources. Collaboration is needed between government and private players in order to prepare a future for Nigerian energy industry amid energy transition.
“We haven’t done fairly well in the area of research and development. We need to position ourselves for future career and employment in the energy sector.
She therefore urged the government and stakeholders to properly identify the roles that Nigeria could play in the global energy sector, adding that it is risky to be complacent about energy transition.
“We need to address issue with the quality of manpower that would drive energy transition. The country is faced with talent flight. The available talents are daily negotiating their exit plan. Something must be done to discourage this new trend,” she disclosed.
She however urged the government to attract the new talents by connecting the oil and gas industry with financial technology(Fintech) which has preoccupied the consciousness of the new generation.