President Muhammad Buhari has assured investors of governments readiness to provide clement business environment for the nation’s hydrocarbon industry to grow and remain competitive in global environment.
The President,who spoke at the opening ceremony of the fourth Nigeria International Petroleum Summit (NIPS), said creation of conducive environment was a necessity.
He told his guests 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 the nation’s overall outlook for the industry.
Represented by Chief Timipriye Sylva, the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Buhari however said that the immediate challenge for the oil and gas industry is that the global agenda for energy transition are slightly, taking the backseat governments across the world are now more focused on managing the COVID 19 pandemic and its impact on economies than the quest for energy transition.
“I want to briefly give my own perspective on the theme for this year’s summit. From Crisis to opportunities, new approaches to the future of hydrocarbons crisis is often an opportunity to redefine objectives, and provide the pathway for rediscovering the crisis the oil and gas industry is facing today was necessitated by COVID-19.
“It accelerated an unprecedented demand disruption, and the supply glut that generated the crisis for the global economy in general, and the oil industry in particular, addressing this crisis, as presented both challenges and opportunities.
“The immediate challenge is that the global agenda for energy transition are slightly, taking the backseat governments across the world are now more focused on managing the COVID 19 pandemic and its impact on economies than the quest for energy transition” he said.
He said that energy transition is real, stressing that renewable technologies are getting cheaper and investors are increasingly conscious of environmental issues, and are beginning to turn their back on hydrocarbon investments.
Speaking,President of the Senate,Ahmed Lawan,expressed the intent of the upper chamber to use legislation to create enabling environment for the nation’s oil industry through robust contributions from stakeholders.
He assured that the National Assembly would pass the Petroleum Industry Bill(PIB) before the end of this month,adding that the earlier months set for its passage was shifted in other to encourage more inputs and considerations therein from stakeholders in the nation’s oil industry.
Speaker of the House of Representatives,Femi Gbajabiamila, also said oil is a finite resources, there was need for the country to fashion out and to maximize output and embrace renewable output on the long run.
He also said the lower chamber was desirous of creating a legislative framework that would put the country’s energy industry on sound footing.
He lamented the delay in the passage of the bill,but assured that the House of Representatives was determined to collaborate with the Senate to ensure that the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill in the interest of the nation.
In his speech, Mele Kyari, the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said the corporation has been in the forefront of promoting energy transition in the country.
He described the the conference as timely and veritable avenue that will bring out the fact that funding is a major issue in industry currently
He said that security is also a major issue for oil and gas in our business recently but promised that efforts are in top gear to nip the development in the bud
He added:”And lastly of course security is a major issue for us in our business today. There is concerted efforts across the industry in the Niger/Delta and all other locations to make sure that we contend issues of security around our says, we are aware that the significant work has been done, the level of security issues has clearly diminished. But there is still work to be done”