As crude oil prices continue to rise above $100 per barrel, President Muhammadu Buhari has said there is no excuse for Nigeria not to reap the gains, especially with the current Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).
Buhari stated this on Monday at the opening ceremony of the 5th edition of the Nigeria International Energy Summit (NIES 2022) at the State House Abuja.
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He said, “Crude oil prices are on the rise again after turning negative in April 2020. It is a great opportunity for us as a country. With the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) in place, there should be no excuses. The enabling investment environment which has been the bane of the industry has been taken care of by provisions in the PIA.
“There is now a level of certainty for the regulatory, administrative and fiscal framework and the legitimate grievances of host communities most impacted by activities of the industry has been addressed by the Act,” said Buhari.”
Buhari, who is also the petroleum minister, said towards reaping the gains, vast reforms have been done in the petroleum industry, including the incorporation of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) as a limited liability company with a target to make it the biggest, the most capitalised and the most profitable company in Africa.
On harnessing gas resources, the president said “We will ensure further optimal exploitation and utilization of the country’s vast Natural Gas resources. Given the country’s potential of about 600 trillion cubic feet, Natural Gas has the enormous potential to diversify and grow Nigeria’s economy.”
On his part, the Minister of State Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, said Nigeria through the PIA the government is promoting the use of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) as the domestic fuel of choice.
He said, “With this programme, we have established a 20 million Cylinder Injection Scheme (CIS); 5-10 million of these are to be introduced in pilot states this year.
“We have also established an LPG Energy Fund in the order of $50 million, in its first phase, in partnership with AFREXIMBANK. LPG is set to be part of the destination as it is being used as a precursor for green hydrogen with zero emission,” Sylva explained.
Nigeria has over 200 Trillion Standard Cubic Feet (TSCF) proven reserves of natural gas which the minister said will be marshalled to engender domestic economic growth and development beyond 2030.
The Group Managing Director and CEO of NNPCL, Malam Mele Kyari, in his remarks said sub-Saharan Africa is far from attaining the climate change landmark of developed countries and so advocated ‘Justice and Sanity’ to prevent chaos while transiting to cleaner energy.
He said, “Transition must have sanity and there must be justice in energy transition which means help us to get to a point where we are able to transport our ordinary people from their homes to their work places and also in the short term assist us in making sure that we have the most friendly fuel that is put in place in the next five to 10 years as we also build our ability to put the renewable on the table.”