…pledges to eliminate corruption from Oil & Gas sector
By Etuka Sunday
The Nigerian President and the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Muhammadu Buhari yesterday assured investors of transparent transactions in the nation’s oil and gas sector.
The President who gave the assurance while declaring open the first Nigeria International Petroleum Summit (NIPS) in Abuja, said the fight against corruption in the sector would continue until a new image is created.
He said: “Corruption in this industry must not be allowed in any form. On our part we will not stop the fight until a new image is created, where transparency would be the watch word in all our transactions.”
Buhari who was represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federal (SGF), Barr. Boss Mustapha drew the attention of investors to the federal government policy on ease of doing business in Nigeria and were assured of transparent transactions.
According to him, the summit was “designed to be Africa’s largest and most important industry platform and linkage to the world where engineering and technological breakthroughs will meet other developmental and economic diversification initiatives.”
He said: “Nigeria is open to private sector investments in the downstream sector and is pursuing vigorously the programme for the rehabilitation of existing refineries for us to enhance capacity to supply locally refined products to Nigeria and West Africa,” which he said was captured in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).
The President said: “My target is that over the next 10 years, Nigeria will develop an FPSO, Nigeria will become self-sufficient in its own power provision and that over the same period we will begin to mutate away from crude oil as it were to very refined clean provision of forces. My target is that over that same period, the investment in the sector will be such that Nigerian companies, entities and shareholders will begin to move from 10 per cent today to 40 to 50 percent of the real-time investments.”
He expressed confidence, that stakeholder discussions the summit would steer up strategies and actionable item that would transform into veritable road map for the industry.
Also speaking, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu said, the summit provided a great platform for key players in the African Oil and Gas space,to forge a common front in harnessing Oil to provide jobs, build technical expertise and develop great resources for the continent.
Kachikwu informed stakeholders that the summit was hosted to energize the petroleum sector in Africa, and drive collaboration in the continent.
In his remarks the Secretary General of OPEC, Dr Mohammed Sanusi Barkindo commended the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources Dr Kachikwu for setting the pace with the maiden “Nigeria International Petroleum Summit” and also lauded President Buhari for giving all the support to the reforms and transformation of the industry.
Barkindo said: “The Nigerian International Petroleum Summit is coming at a critical time, the global crude oil price was emerging from a downturn”.
According to him, innovation is the life-blood of the Oil and Gas Industry, emphasizing the need for African Petroleum Producers to partner effectively in achieving a robust sector.
He however, commended Nigeria for playing a significant role in the area of “Consensus Building” in the OPEC cartel, which he described as remarkable.
Meanwhile, the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Maikanti Baru called for closer collaboration among African nations not only in oil and gas but across all sectors to leapfrog the economies in the continent.
Speaking during his goodwill message at the opening ceremony of the ongoing NIPS at the International Conference Center in Abuja.
The theme of this year’s conference is: “Leading Africa’s Response to Global Oil and Gas Challenges.”
Dr. Baru challenged the participants to come up with practicable solutions to effectively develop Africa’s hydrocarbon resources, saying that discussions and interests alike would stir up strategies and actionable items that would crystalize into a veritable roadmap for the energy future of the African continent.
“Our expectation is that at the end of this summit a communique will be issued out as action points for current and potential African oil and gas countries for better collaboration and development,” Dr. Baru stated.
According to him, discussions were expected to cut across the industry value chain with focus on deepening collaboration across and within the African oil and gas space; modern technologies in the industry; innovative strategies to survive after a global downturn; current trends in the oil and gas markets; gas to power; prospects and opportunities; policy and regulation; sustainable socio-economic development of the Niger Delta; as well as lessons learnt so far from the Nigerian experience.
Dr. Baru pledged the support of the NNPC to nurture the summit into a full-fledged international summit like the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) held in Houston, USA and Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference held annually in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
He applauded the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, for working tirelessly and for ensuring the fruition of the summit, stressing that his good works would not go unnoticed.