As part of efforts to increase domestic production and utilisation of oil and gas resources in the country, the Federal Government said it is committed to developing policy frameworks that would serve as enablers needed to realise the full potentials of the oil and gas industry.
Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, made this known while speaking at the 2022 Nigerian Oil and Gas (NOG) Conference and Exhibition in Abuja.
Sylva confirmed that Nigeria is an energy deficient country, noting that about 62 per cent of Nigerians lack access to electricity and 90 per cent lack access to modern cooking fuels.
He said, “The Petroleum Industry Act(PIA) will provide new and attractive terms for stakeholders’ participation in the Nigeria gas sector.
“Our government is working on many initiatives to tackle these challenges, one of which is the gas to power Initiative aimed at minimising gas flaring and harnessing our gas resources to electricity to meet Nigeria’s electricity demands.
“It is very worthy to note that the Federal Government is providing a lot of enablers, which are needed to realise the full potential of the gas sector.
“This includes the development of critical infrastructures and systems such as the Obiafu-Obrikom-Oben (OB3) Gas Pipeline, the Ajaokuta Kaduna-Kano (AKK) Gas Pipeline, the Nigerian Gas Transportation Network Code (NGTNC).
“The Nigerian Gas Transportation Network Code (NGTNC) provides streamlined operational and fiscal terms for third-party use of gas distribution and transmission infrastructures,” Sylva said.
He said these were supply-side enablers, which were capable of eliciting commercial interests and investments in gas utilisation.
The minister noted that one of the most important provisions of the PIA for the gas sector was the establishment of the Midstream and Downstream Gas Infrastructure Fund.
He said the fund would have the power to make equity investments into relevant gas infrastructure projects and consequently encourage private sector investment through participation and risk sharing.
Sylva said the realisation of the industry’s enormous potential depended on government commitment to policy implementation as well as private sector commitment and support to government in achieving policy and agenda.
“This initiative will create over two million jobs per annum, promote skills acquisition, enhance technology transfer in addition to growing the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP),” Sylva said.
Sen. Margery Okadigbo, Chairman, Board of Directors, Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) said the PIA is a testament to Nigeria’s commitment to have in place the right environment for the advancement and development of the oil and gas industry.
Okadigbo while speaking at the ongoing 21st Nigerian Oil and Gas (NOG) Conference and Exhibition, tagged “Funding the Nigerian Energy Mix for Sustainable Economic Growth.”
The NNPC’s Board Chairman said the oil and gas sector undoubtedly played a critical role to Nigeria’s prosperity while the central theme of the oil and gas strategy was reform though various initiatives were currently ongoing .
She explained that effective implementation of the PIA would stimulate sustainable social impact and creation of quality jobs for the teeming youth and consequently change social perception of the industry.
Mr Kamoru Busari, Director overseeing the office of the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, on his part said the government is planning to set up Oil and Gas Investment centre to increase the exportation of value-added petroleum products, thereby limiting the country dependency on foreign exchange earnings from exportation of crude oil, the Federal Government has revealed plan to set up an Oil and Gas Investment centre.
He made this known on Wednesday at the ongoing Nigerian Oil and Gas (NOG) Conference. According to him, the centre will serve as a one-stop Oil and Gas Investment hub created to spur Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs).
He noted that the centre would be reciprocated along all the MDAs to create an enabling business environment for would-be investors to attract all the available FDIs into the sector.
Busari spoke at the industry regulators session of the 2022 NOG conference which had its theme as “Funding the Nigerian Energy Mix for Sustainable Economic Growth”.
He said the development was in fulfilment of its mandate as enshrined in Section three (e) of the PIA to: “Promote an enabling environment for Investment in Nigerian Petroleum Industry”.
He said it became necessary because of the need to begin to create business models that would reduce the export of crude oil while increasing export of value-added petroleum products.
He said deliberate regulations and policies that would encourage investments and enhance private businesses in these streams needed to be formulated.
He said, “The task before every one of us now is to breathe life to the flesh already built by the act to play our roles as regulator and opportunity enablers.
“This will be through direct collaboration with all relevant stakeholders in the operationalisation of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) to prevent impediments in operations and processes.