The Federal Government has declared that it has demonstrated an unparallel commitment to the overhauling of Nigeria’s Oil and Gas Industry. The declaration was contained in the opening address by President Muhammadu Buhari at the inauguration of the 4th Nigeria International Petroleum Summit (NIPS) held at the Banquet hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Monday, 7th June, 2021.
The President who was represented at the occasion by the Honorable Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva stated that; “the ambitious goal of ramping up crude oil production to at least 4 million barrels per day and building a reserve of 40 billion barrels remains sacrosanct and guiding principle to our overall outlook for the industry”.
Giving his own perspective on the theme of NIPS 2021: “From crisis to opportunities: New approaches to the future of hydrocarbons”, President Buhari stated that crisis is often an opportunity to re-define objectives and that provides the pathway for rediscovery. He noted that the crisis plaguing the oil and gas industry today was necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the President, addressing the crisis poised by the pandemic has presented both challenges and opportunities. The immediate challenge is that the global agenda for energy transition has taken the back seat as governments across the world are now concerned about managing the pandemic and its impact on economies than the quest for energy transition.
Going by Experts’ projection that about 80 percent of the world’s energy mix in 2040 will still come from hydrocarbons, the President enthused that, Nigeria with her vast hydrocarbon potential has an opportunity.
In his welcome address, Chief Timipre Sylva, in his capacity as Minister State for Petroleum Resources, stated that the Nigeria International Petroleum Summit was conceived by the current administration around 2016 to be the pre-eminent Oil and Gas Industry event by Nigeria for Africa and the Global Oil and Gas Industry.
Continuing, Sylva reiterated that Nigeria is on track in moving its economy to cleaner energy sources in the area of renewables, with gas currently serving as the bridge to achieving that.
With increasing oil price volatility and increase pressure for cost reduction, the Minister posited that our industry needs to re-invent itself so that we can fully utilize the dividends to set the country on the path to industrialization and prosperity. It is in this regard that the Minister sued for collaboration which he said should be the paradigm shift that need be emphasized at the summit.
In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Mr. Bitrus Bako Nabasu, mni, informed that the global pandemic has pushed stakeholders in the oil and gas sector to persevere and through innovative thinking and actions, created new mechanism toward sustaining the global oil and gas sector amidst a very trying time.
Secretary General, Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). HE, Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo who joined virtually stated that that the COVID-19 pandemic negatively impacted the global oil demand while developing countries were exposed. He commended President Muhammadu Buhari for channeling resources to the most productive sectors of the economy and for his support for the Declaration of Cooperation (DoC) process.
Barkindo also informed that OPEC will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of Nigeria’s membership of the organization this year.
In his remarks, the President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmed Lawan said the National Assembly is committed to the revitalization off the nation’s hydrocarbon while the Legislative and Executive arms are working together to ensure the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB). He informed that the Joint Committees of the National Assembly are about writing their reports for submission while further deliberation will follow at plenary. He added that a legal framework as the PIB will bring about peace, sanity and stability in the oil and gas sector. Lawal expressed optimism that the PIB will be passed this year.
Similarly, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila declared that the National Assembly is more determined now to ensure the passage of the PIB which has been on for 20 years.
Mrs. Enefaa Bob-Manuel
Ministry of Petroleum Resources