Minister of state for petroleum resources Timipre Sylva has said that the country is about to witness significant investment around gas infrastructure as the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, soon to be passed will address issues around gas pricing and other attractive industry incentives.
Addressing the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists, NAPE Webinar Series: Fiscal Regime Design, Government Revenues & Investors’ Interest in Nigeria Oil & Gas Sector”, held in Lagos today, Sylva, said passage of the fiscal framework Bill will unlock investment into the industry especially the offshore sector.
He disclosed that the reviewed taxes and royalties that raised serious concerns by industry experts is now attractive and will support development of new acreages especially in deep offshore and shallow waters.
The Bill on host community issues will help address the challenges of insecurity with attractive stake to host communities, enough to incentivise them to protect oil and gas assets in their various domains.
The extant economic challenges facing the country in view of COVID-19 needs to be competently addressed to put the country back on her feet in pursuit of economic and social prosperity. Crutial here is the extent to which the government can quickly implement the hard and far reaching reforms necessary to deliver the much-desired improvements in the oil and gas sector, which alone account for nearly 90 per cent of Nigeria’s exports and 70 per cent of government revenues that are needed for development spending. The passage of the Bill amongst other things can reduce the severe economic downturn and loss of benefits to the country and can ultimately boost revenue and employment.
The minister stated that the National Gas Expansion Programme Committee is already working to steer the gas sector for optimal performance and better utilisation of Nigeria’s abundant gas resources.
Sylva, said the country was on the verge of becoming a gas hub for the African subregion and that government is making the industry relevant to the people by touching the lives of the ordinary citizens through equitable distribution of petroleum products in the country,
According to him, The team would serve as a catalyst for the development and utilisation of available assets and ensure strict adherence to the National Gas Policy as gazetted and would reform and implement a market infrastructure strategy to promote cost-effective distribution.
He said the committee would also engage state and non-state stakeholders on the gas policy adding that the programme if effectively implemented could reduce poverty and increase the per capita income of Nigerians.
Sylva explained that the AKK Project, which is one of the numerous gas infrastructure projects when completed offers enormous economic and social benefits to the nation.
The project according to him, would unlock 2.2billion cubic feet of gas to the domestic market, support the addition of 3,600 Megawatts of power to the national grid and revitalise the textile industry which alone boasts of over three million jobs in parts of the country and support the development of gas-based industries.