BY FESTUS OKOROMADU, ABUJA
President Muhammadu Buhari has identified the actualization of the Petroleum Industry Act as his administration’s biggest achievement in the energy sector.
The President stated this in his address at the opening ceremony of the 6th edition of the Nigeria International Energy Summit in Abuja, on Monday.
Buhari, who was represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, said, “for decades, we were told that because of the various vested interests, it would be near impossible to pass the Bill. But we made it happen.”
He hinted that the enactment of the Bill by his administration was revolutionary, adding the government wasted no time in implementing some critical aspects of the provisions of the Act.
This led to the scrapping of existing agencies and replaced with the new regulators; the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) while the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) was transformed to a Limited Liability Company-the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL).
The President said his administration also recorded giant strides in the natural gas sector.
He said the implementation of the Decade of Gas agenda was designed to turnaround the country’s energy mix.
“The agenda was the gas revolution. We pushed for the diversification of Nigeria’s economy and drive Industrialization through domestic gas utilization,” he stated.
Buhari listed other landmark initiatives launched by his government to include; National Gas Transportation Network code (NGTNC), Nigerian Gas Flare Commercialization Programme (NGFCP), Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) natural gas pipeline project among others.
In his welcome address, the Group Chief Executive Officer, NNPCL, Mele Kyari, said the global community has recognized the need to ensure sustainability in the energy landscape which is in line with the current realities.
He said the NNPCL as a key player in the energy sector, the mandate of providing energy for the county remains its priority.
In order to achieve that, the NNPCL, he said, is poised to reliably deliver energy to stakeholders, through efficient utilization of hydrocarbons and other new energy sources which our country is blessed with.
Speaking to the importance of energy in economic development, he said, “You will agree with me that sustained energy sufficiency directly enables economic growth and development as can be seen in the history of the developed countries.
“This is why we are focused on efficiently producing energy while minimizing the effect on the environment. Oil and gas remains a significant component of energy in the global energy mix therefore we are unlocking more opportunities across both the oil and gas value chain spanning from supply and infrastructure to the markets.”
Kyari said the NNPCL is actively supporting the Federal Government towards the realization of key initiatives such as the Decade of Gas and the National Gas Expansion Programme (NGEP) which seeks to deepen natural gas utilization as an alternative transportation fuel, virtual gas supply to off-pipeline grid gas customers and gas utilization as feedstock for the development of gas-based industries.
“This is evident in the definite actions taken to utilize CNG and LNG to power vehicles, buildings and power plants,” he said.
In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Gabriel Tanimu Aduda, noted that the summit provided a unique opportunity for the coming together of stakeholders with a view to sharing knowledge and insights, and to discuss the challenges and opportunities that plague the energy industry globally.
“We are living in an era of rapid change, with new technologies, shifting geopolitical realities, and changing global energy demands,” he said.
The Permanent Secretary noted that it was clear that energy played a critical role in shaping the world.
He opined that Nigeria is endowed with considerable deposits of oil and gas resources which had over the years played a very important role in the country’s development, adding that the government was working to ensure that the energy sector remained a key driver of economic growth and social progress.
“We are also committed to a sustainable energy future, and we are investing in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and clean technologies. We believe that by working together, we can build a more resilient, sustainable, and equitable energy future for all,” he stated.
There were goodwill messages from the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), African Petroleum Producers’ Organization (APPO), Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF), Independent Petroleum Producers Group (IPPG), Chevron Nigeria Ltd, Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) among others.
The theme for NIES, 2023 is: “Global Perspectives for a Sustainable Energy Future.”