President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday revealed that his administration was working on strengthening the nation’s position as regional leader in the oil and gas industry.
Buhari revealed this in a virtual address at the
inauguration of the National Oil and Gas Excellence Centre (NOGEC) which was held at the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) headquarters in Lagos.
The president said his administration is committed to ensuring maximum benefit from the nation’s huge natural resources and will continue to leverage on oil and gas to ensure economic growth.
He said: ”You would recall that at the beginning of this administration, we set a clear roadmap for the oil and gas sector in order to increase value from the nation’s huge resource potentials and create opportunities for investors, both local and foreign, when I declared that: ‘Nigeria is Open for Business!’
”I am delighted that since then, we have witnessed major Final Investment Decisions in the sector such as the AKK Pipeline project, the NLNG Train-7 project, and the completion of the 5,000 barrels per day Waltersmith Modular refinery.
”Our renewed drive for economic diversification using the oil and gas industry as a pivot remains on track as we expand government revenues and deploy it to grow our Gross Domestic Product (GDP), generate employment and contribute to eliminating poverty in Nigeria.
The President explained that the newly inaugurated center will serve as an integrated resource complex to drive safety, value and cost efficiency in oil and gas industry which will strengthen the nation’s GDP as well as Nigeria’s position as regional leader in the industry.
According to him, the Centre had opened a “new set of opportunities for the Nigerian Petroleum Industry in terms of investments, cost reduction, safety in operations and capacity development.
“It is therefore another milestone in the development of the oil and gas sector and the realisation of greater value for the country,”
”The establishment of the National Oil and Gas Excellence Centre aligns with our administration’s commitment to foster stability, growth and sustainability of the Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry consistent with the economic development and sustainability agenda articulated in the National Petroleum Policy 2017, National Gas Policy 2017, Economic Recovery and Growth Plan and the Economic Sustainability Plan, 2020,” He added.
Speaking on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the industry, he said; “Nigeria was not spared from the impact of the COVID-19, oil price crash and OPEC production cuts with direct impact on government revenue projections and national economy.
”However, we are emerging more resilient in 2021 owing, in part, to efforts of the agencies of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources who work under my leadership and the direct supervision of the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, to keep oil & gas production levels stable, optimise government revenues, and ensure domestic energy security.
”The creation of the National Oil and Gas Excellence Centre at this time is further demonstration that the Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry has come of age, even against the odds.
”The Centre will serve as oil & gas industry cost-reduction centre and hub for industry best practices, technical support and competence.
“It will also act as the oil and gas techno-economic bureau to support the government and its entities in policy development and implementation efforts,” he added
The president further lauded the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, the Director/ CEO of DPR, Sarki Auwalu and the entire staff of DPR on the actualization of the project, while urging all industry practitioners and stakeholders to support the task of nation building to realise the abundant opportunities in the country.
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