July 21, 2024

#OTLAfrica: FG sets December deadline for review of PIA, as Aduda urges downstream players to pool resources into refining petroleum products  

Amb. Gabriel Aduda, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources

Oredola Adeola


Ambassador Gabriel Aduda, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, has revealed the plan by the Ministry of Petroleum Resources to review the implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) with stakeholders in the upstream and downstream sector, after two years of its implementation.


Aduda has also called on operators in the Nigerian downstream sector to work together and pool resources to invest in refining petroleum products to address the country’s energy crises, stressing that the quality of technology possessed by the operators should not be a barrier to investment in refining.


Aduda made this known in his goodwill message delivered at the opening session of the Oil Trading and Logistics (OTL) Africa Week 2023, in Lagos on Monday.


According to him, the review will identify the pros and cons of the Act and all the areas that need to be addressed.


He said, “The review is expected to hold before the second week of December 2023, where all oil and gas industry players would gather to discuss all the fundamental issues that needed to be addressed in the Act.”


Speaking on the theme of the conference: “Energy, Synergy, and New Beginnings,” the PM stated that it is crucial for all players in the oil and gas industry to embrace the spirit of synergy, adding that the energy landscape is rapidly evolving.


Aduda emphasised that the solution to Nigeria’s product refining lies in the willingness of the private sector to make the difference, to collaborate, learn, and inspire one another.


He noted that it is the responsibility of the players in the downstream sector of the oil and gas industry to shape a future where energy is clean, accessible, and equitable for all.


He said, “While much attention has been focused on the upstream sector (exploration and production) in discussions about energy transition, the downstream sector, which involves refining, distribution, and marketing of petroleum products, plays a crucial role in this transition.


“With the level of technology that is at their disposal no matter how crude they are. Why can’t we begin to think in the area of harnessing the limited potentials that we have and see how we can put things together to evolve a clear home-grown technology. that we can build on to be able to deliver the energy future of our dream,” the Permanent Secretary said.


He also commented on the need for the petroleum industry regulators in Nigeria including the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) to offer supportive regulation to the investors in the sector.


He said, “The beauty of the regulation is to help the industry in Nigeria to be globally competitive and acceptable and be able to attract more investors. To also put a check on the activities of the investors.


Aduda further hinted that infrastructure in the downstream sector is a major factor facing the sector. He said, “Today we embark on an investment road show globally to attract investors to Nigeria, but one of the major concerns being raised is lack of investment in the sector.”


He therefore noted that the downstream sector is no longer confined to traditional boundaries. According to him, “It is about collaboration, innovation, and adaptability.


“The challenges we face are not unique to any single entity but shared by all. Together, we can overcome them and pave the way for a brighter, more sustainable future.


“The energy sector is witnessing a renaissance of sorts, heralding new beginnings.  As we move towards a more sustainable, eco-friendly future, our industry must lead the charge.


“Nigeria, as a significant player in the global energy landscape, faces the challenge of balancing its hydrocarbon-based economy with the need to transition towards cleaner and more sustainable energy sources,”Aduda said.


Ambassador Aduda also emphasized the importance of ensuring the availability and guaranteeing the gas supply before the discussions around conversion of buses to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) are put in place.


He said, “The downstream players must work with the government to expand trunk and distribution gas pipelines across the country, as well as supply and distribution of refining capacity expansion, supportive regulations, renewable energy integration, and workforce development.


“As laudable as the Presidential Initiative on CNG is for example, we must be careful not to put the cart before the horse, we need the buses, we need the converters but then where is the gas?” he cautioned.