Buhari Recounts Achievements in Oil, Gas Sector, Lists PIA as Biggest Accomplishment
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday attended the Nigeria International Energy Summit (NIES), his last as the country’s leader, seizing the opportunity to highlight his administration’s achievements in the sector from which Nigeria earns most of its foreign exchange.
Speaking at the event in Abuja put together by Brevity Anderson, a Trade Advisory Consultancy specialised in strategic meetings, Buhari boasted that when he assumed office in 2015, his administration set out to dismantle the challenges it met by embarking on major reforms.
Buhari, who was represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha, explained that his first task was the issue of funding and incentivising the sector, which he said he did by exiting the government from Joint Venture (JV) cash call funding to free up his administration from funding the oil sector.
Listing the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) as his biggest achievement in the energy sector, the president stated at the event themed: “Global Perspectives for a Sustainable Energy Future,” that for decades, Nigerians were told that because of the various vested interests, it would be near impossible to pass the bill.
He described the law as revolutionary, stressing that the government quickly moved to scrap the existing agencies and replaced them with the new regulators, while the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) was immediately transformed to a limited liability.
According to the president, the NNPC with a new brand identity is on course to becoming the biggest, most capitalised and most profitable company in the whole of Africa.
In the natural gas sector, Buhari announced that he pushed for the diversification of Nigeria’s economy and drove industrialisation through domestic gas utilisation, officially declaring natural gas as Nigeria’s transition fuel.
He highlighted the launch of the National Gas Transportation Network Code (NGTNC), a set of rules guiding the use of a gas transportation system, the Nigerian Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme (NGFCP) as well as the declaration of January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2030 as Nigeria’s ‘Decade of Gas’ as some other milestones recorded.
“We also made giant strides in infrastructure. We kicked started the $2.8 billion Ajaokuta–Kaduna–Kano (AKK) natural gas pipeline project. The AKK project will transport up to 3,500 million cubic feet (mcf) of gas a day from various gas gathering projects and help to generate 3.6 gigawatts of power and support gas-based industries along the route when completed. At present, the 614km gas pipeline is 43 per cent completed.
“We have also reinvigorated the private sector in the industry. We ensured an attractive framework for the indigenous companies to take advantage of divestment by International Oil Companies’ (IOCs) assets. This move ensured that the indigenous companies grew their capacity tremendously and they are now accountable for about 30 per cent of national oil and gas production up from just about 2 per cent in 2010.
“We implemented a marginal fields bid round and saw to the conclusion of the process which resulted in the award of Petroleum Prospecting Licences (PPLs) to 161 successful firms with the federal government raking in about N200 billion as well as $7 million from the process,” he added.
Besides, Buhari said his administration took the issue of ease of doing business very seriously and created the conducive environment for businesses to thrive, insisting that many of the biggest businesses that came on stream in the lifetime of his administration back up this fact.
“ The $5 billion NLNG Train 7 project is one of such. It is one of the most ambitious construction projects in Nigeria. Upon completion, the Nigeria LNG Train 7 project will increase the NLNG Terminal production capacity by 35 per cent from the current 22 Metric Tons per annum to 30 Metric Tons per annum.
“Another proof that the ease of doing business of my administration is not just a mere mantra is the reality that Dangote Refinery has become. The Africa’s biggest oil refinery and the world’s biggest single-train petroleum facility upon completion will process 650,000 barrels of crude oil per day and this will help Nigeria become the oil refining of Africa. Let me also point out that many modular refineries came on stream and are up and running during the lifetime of my administration,” he noted
Also speaking, the Group Chief Executive Officer , NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari, noted that the company was poised to reliably deliver energy to its stakeholders, through efficient utilisation of hydrocarbons and other new energy sources which the country is blessed with.
He argued that oil and gas remain a significant component of energy in the global energy mix , stressing that therefore that the NNPC was unlocking more opportunities across both the oil and gas value chain, spanning supply and infrastructure to the markets.
Kyari, who was represented by the Executive Vice President Gas, Power and New Energy, Mohammed Ahmed, said that the NNPC was actively supporting the federal government towards the realisation of key initiatives listed by the president.
“The NNPC Limited is also investing heavily in critical gas infrastructure such as the Ajaokuta-Abuja-Kano (AKK) gas pipeline and the OB3 gas interconnector to support 5 Bscf/d of domestic gas utilisation including 5 GW of power generation capacity by developing power plant projects along the AKK pipeline corridor and across the country to complement the existing ones,” he noted.
In his remarks at the ceremony, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Gabriel 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 explained, adding that it was clear that energy play a critical role in shaping the world.
Others who spoke at the event were: The Secretary General, Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Mr Haitham Al-Ghais; Secretary General, African Petroleum Producers’ Organisation (APPO), Dr Farouk Ibrahim; Secretary General, Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF), Mohamed Hamel; Chairman, Independent Petroleum Producers Group (IPPG), Abdulrasaq Isa, among others.