The Ministers of State for Oil and Gas, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri and Honourable Ekperikpe Ekpo, shared their plans to drive growth and development in the nation’s oil and gas sector.
The Ministers’ declaration was contained in their separate submissions at a town hall meeting they had with staff members of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources on Tuesday in Abuja, obtained by EnergyDay.
This according to the ambitious agenda to boost crude production and utilize autogas among others would ensure the actualization of President Bola Tinubu’s agenda for the country’s oil and gas sector.
Senator Lokpobiri, Minister of State for Oil, on his part, expressed his readiness to work towards increased crude production on a sustainable basis.
He also emphasized the importance of addressing the menace of crude theft and pipeline vandalization, which have been major challenges in the industry.
Hon. Ekpo, Minister of State for Gas Resources, in his comment, highlighted his commitment to growing the penetration and utilization of Autogas.
Speaking about the importance of addressing the menace of crude theft and pipeline vandalization, which have been major challenges in the industry, Ekpo emphasised that his
vision was to grow gas supplies to thermal plants so as to improve electricity generation to consumers in the country.
According to him, out of the 20 top gas producing nations in the world, utilisation was least in Nigeria, hence the need for increased investments in the industry.
He also assured of greater investments in Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) infrastructure to deepen penetration among Nigerians.
He said the gas sector held great prospects for the resuscitation of the economy and tasked workers with the need for commitment and dedication to meeting the expectations of Nigerians from the gas industry.
“Today we talk about insecurity, unemployment, and even food security, but I believe that this ministry is critical to the growth of our economy. We need to grow gas supplies to our power plants so that there is improved electricity generation and supply to assist in job creation for our youths,” he said.
Ekpo therefore assured existing and prospective gas investors of a conducive operational and business environment in the gas industry.
Ambassador Gabriel Aduda, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, while responding to the remarks of the Ministers, charged them to intervene in the disparity in remuneration between staff of the ministry and industry workers.
Aduda said the ministry was endowed with quality and experienced staff to match or exceed that of operators in the industry asking that the minister assist workers in enjoying petroleum service allowances.
EnergyDay therefore gathered that the unveiling of the Ministers’ agenda comes at a time when there is increasing pressure on the Nigerian Government to harness the potential of the oil and gas sector to drive economic development and meet the energy needs of the nation.
Recently, the two Ministers joined the Federal Government’s Oil Theft Situation Assessment Delegation on a high-level assessment visit to vandal sites and suspected marine-related oil theft facilities in the Niger Delta, highlighting a united front to tackle economic sabotage affecting the nation.
During the tour, last week, Sen. Lokpobiri assured that Port Harcourt Refinery will come back on stream by the end of 2023, signaling the end of petroleum product importation soon, as efforts are being redoubled to restore the nation’s local refining capacity.