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Buhari unveils govt’s plans to attract investments in oil industry


President Muhammadu Buhari has unveiled his administration’s plan to open up the Nigerian oil and gas space to attract investments and maximise value from the petroleum industry.

The President who was represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha, at the opening ceremony of the ongoing Nigeria International Petroleum Summit (NIPS) in Abuja yesterday, stated that the Federal Government has improved the business environment in entire oil and gas value chain – upstream, midstream and downstream and assured investors of safety of their investments and returns on investments.

He said: “As a result of the great role the hydrocarbon industry plays in the economy of Africa, we cannot afford to compromise its technical, operational and financial standards. This is the reason this administration has consistently promoted the sector’s reforms aimed at entrenchment of transparency in the conduct of the industry’s business; cost-reduction efficiency and attracting investment in the oil and gas value chain.

“The Federal Government also remains ready and accessible to receiving investment from interested countries, individuals and partners.  Let me assure our foreign delegates that their investments are well secured in Nigeria and high returns on investment are always guaranteed. It can’t get better anywhere.

“Towards achieving the realization of safe and secure investment environment, this administration has taken steps to reposition the oil and gas sector in the following areas – improve the business environment and drive investment in the upstream, midstream and downstream; review and gazette policies and regulations to enhance operations in the sector; enhance accelerated gas revolution by way of infrastructure; promoting domestic utilization of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and compressed natural gas (CNG); commence the process of commercialising gas flare and increasing gas-to-power;  improve Niger Delta security through capacity building and economic empowerment, enforce transparency and efficiency in the sector by building capacity in the use of IT and automation and entrenching performance management; increase refineries’ local production capacities, improve stakeholder management and international coordination toward management of relationship, international relations and bilateral coordination; and carry out extensive work for the eventual passage for the Petroleum Industry Bill to open up the oil and gas sector.”

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, launched the Nigerian Gas Transportation Network Code (NGTNC) and said its application took effect from yesterday February 10.

He said: “I need to reiterate the immense opportunities that Nigeria’s gas resource affords with our gas reserves position at 200.79 tcf as at January 2019. The drive to optimally explore and produce this resource is driving government’s aspirations for energy security, economic diversification, job creation and enhanced revenue generation. Gas and its derivatives as envisaged in the national gas policy would surely catalyse our economic growth. And the need for gas transportation infrastructure has, to a large extent, to be in place for the sector to develop. In the light of the above, our policy directions are geared towards addressing the infrastructural challenge. Accordingly, the Nigerian Gas Master Plan, the National Domestic Gas Supply and Pricing Regulation, 2008, Section 2 f & g, and the National Gas Policy 2017, Section 4, 3-3, all stipulate the introduction of Gas Transportation Network Code to guarantee open access to the network.

“The code is a contractual agreement between the gas transportation network operator and gas shippers that specifies the terms and guidelines for operation and use of the gas network.

“In line with government’s policy to reinforce and expand gas supply and stimulate demand through the National Gas Expansion Programme, the code will provide open and competitive access to gas transportation infrastructure and development of the Nigerian gas sector. The code will stimulate the domestic gas market, drive gas-based industrialization and the realization of the government’s aspiration to move 100 million Nigerians out of poverty. The code has in-built modification mechanisms and all shareholders are assured of the periodic review of the network code to suit the dynamics of the industry.”

According to him, the Nigerian Gas Transportation Network Code takes effect from February 10, 2020 and shall apply to all gas transportation arrangements between gas transporter and gas shipper as defined in the code. The transporter and all existing users of the transportation network shall within six months of the date of this directive, migrate from existing gas transportation agreements to the Network Code by executing the necessary ancillary agreements. All new and intending users shall make use of the Network based on the terms and conditions provided in the Network Code. While the network Code remains the uniform protocol for users of the Gas Transportation Network, and can only be modified in accordance with relevant provisions therein, the ancillary agreements are negotiated by the relevant parties

These directives will be transmitted to all stakeholders by the Director of Petroleum Resources for immediate compliance, he added.

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