They, however, noted that there must be consistency in their implementation in order for them to achieve the objective of optimising Nigeria’s oil and gas resources for national development.
The stakeholders spoke in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos while reacting to the president’s 61st Independence Anniversary live broadcast.
Buhari in the speech highlighted some of the achievements of his administration to include the passage of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) and attracting investments for establishment of modular refineries in the country.
The president also emphasised the administration’s commitment to the “Decade of Gas” Initiative, which is aimed at bringing to focus the utilisation of Nigeria’s huge gas resources.
Mr Chinedu Okoronkwo, the National President, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), congratulated Nigerians on the country’s 61st Independence Anniversary celebration.
Okoronkwo noted that the oil and gas sector remain the mainstay of the nation’s economy, stressing that IPMAN would continue to work with the government for smooth implementation of its policies.
He said: “We believe that the sector is on the right track with the enactment of the PIA which we have been clamouring for since almost two decades.
“The PIA will usher in the full liberalisation of the petroleum downstream sector and attract more investments which will in turn create more jobs for Nigerians.”
According to him, IPMAN is also collaborating with the government in its autogas scheme and other areas aimed at deepening gas utilisation in the country.
Also, Mr Wilson Opuwei, the Chief Executive Officer, Dateline Energy Services Ltd., said it was great that the government was committed to opening the sector up for more investments through its policies.
“I am delighted with the thinking of opening up new ventures in the sector, especially in gas which is the future of energy as a way of rejigging the economy.
“However, the government must avoid policy mismatch by ensuring that their intentions are clear just as highlighted by the president.
“If you find a system where there is inconsistency in policies, those ideas will not be able to materialise or achieve the desired results due to politicisation of the processes,” Opuwei said.
On his part, Mr Justice Derefaka, Technical Adviser, Gas Business and Policy Implementation to the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr Timipre Sylva, commended Buhari and Sylva for their accountable and responsible leadership.
Derefaka said the government was working to ensure that the economic benefits of the country’s oil and gas were being utilised for the benefit of all Nigerians.
He said: “Nigeria’s economic outlook has been greatly enhanced by the oil and gas industry.
“Nigeria’s oil and gas business is flourishing, allowing the government to export crude oil and natural gas rather than importing it, creating an energy market that would bring money into the country rather than send it out.
“Our community involvement programme through capacity-building – that is, making investments to enhance the essential building blocks of a prosperous society – are at the heart of the oil and gas sector’s contribution.
“Education and training, job development, and health care are just a few of the building pieces that contribute to a healthy society and a good business climate. The value of a core business investment is protected and leveraged through capacity-building
” All of these factors, taken together – strong company investment, local jobs and content, and community development – are essential for long-term economic success.
“Nigeria’s future is inextricably linked to the strength and health of its oil and gas industry. Fortunately, the oil and gas business has been increasing for sometime, and we will perform much better with the PIA 2021”. (NAN)