The Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources in Nigeria since Sunday, 18th February-2018 has had the major players/stakeholders in the Global Petroleum Industry gather at the Federal Capital Territory, Nigeria – Abuja for the maiden edition of the Nigeria International Petroleum Summit (NIPS), an African Petroleum Technology & Business Conference, which is expected to run for the entire week ending on Thursday, 22nd February.
The Summit was declared open on Monday by the President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha. The President seized the opportunity to reaffirm his commitment to regaining the confidence of Investors – stressing transparency, efficiency and the ease of doing business.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu called the attention of the Global audience to the Nigerian Oil Sector, encouraging investors to take advantage of the numerous opportunities across the sector. In his ministerial address, the Minister name-checked Africa’s readiness to unleash its full potential while making transparency across the entire oil and gas industry a tradition. He stated that NIPS is Africa’s attempt to redefine herself and take a front row seat in the sector.
The Secretary General, Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC – Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo acknowledged that it was the exit from the worst downturns in the history of oil and emphasized the need to ‘step back, take stock and draw lessons’ from the difficult chapter. He noted that NIPS offers a worthy platform to do exactly that, also to ensure all hands are on deck to confine extreme market volatility to the past. He expressed confidence in Nigeria playing this leadership role, hoping that the OPEC-non-OPEC Strategic Partnership fulfills its responsibilities.
Mr. Durotoye, Chief Executive at Oando Energy Resources on how Oando Plc. has been able to survive the downturn said, “The strategies highlighted for staying competitive after a global downturn should encompass cost optimization, operational and technological efficiency, sustainability as well as value optimization, instead of chasing barrel production..”
The third day focused on the ‘7 Big Wins‘ – short and medium term priorities to grow Nigeria’s Oil & Gas Industry, developed by the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources under the leadership of Dr. Kachikwu. The Minister explained that the ‘7 Big Wins‘ is aimed at developing a stable and oil & gas landscape with improved transparency, efficiency, stable investment climate and a protected/enabling environment to maximize investment opportunities in the industry.
Dr. Ibe Kachikwu made it clear that Nigeria will not sell her refineries because they would be sold as scraps. “The objective is to make Nigeria a refinery corridor in Africa”, he said. Adding that his vision is to have Nigeria refine most of her crude locally, rather than exporting them.
There was a Gas session, where a panel chaired by President of the Nigeria Gas Association – Mr. Dada Thomas discussed, ‘Africa as an Emerging Gas Producer – Prospects & Opportunities‘. The panel wondered if the enabling environment was in place for gas exploitation. Vice President of the Nigeria Gas Association, Audrey Ezigbo said Nigeria has over 600 Trillion cubic feet of proven gas reserves that have not been tapped.
Bayo Ojulari, Managing Director Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company, SNEPCO was however not impressed with the size of our gas reserves. He said, “.. it is what we do with it. Countries without gas have stable power supply..”. The Managing Director believes that we should focus on the power & industrialization agenda in order for us to be able to also enjoy uninterrupted power supply and create jobs. SNEPCO won ‘Best in Technology & Innovation‘ Award at the summit.
In all, as the summit continues today, my hope is that this maiden edition of the Nigeria International Petroleum Summit brings about the desired advancement Towards a Greater Nigeria.