We must rejoice rejoice for getting the Petroleum Industry bill, PIB, passed into Petroleum Industry Act, PIA. But the implementation of the PIA is crucial to achieving the set goal. Implementation of Gas strategy is key to unlocking gas development in Nigeria.
Omowumi Iledare, a Professor of Petroleum Economics who is also Executive Director, Emmanuel Egbogah Foundation, so also the GNPC Petroleum Commerce Research Chair, UCC Oil & Gas Studies, Cape Coast, Ghana stated this at the 2021 NAEC International Conference with Theme “Petroleum Industry Act, PIA: Energy Transition and The Future of Nigeria’s Oil & Gas” held last week in Lagos.
“The Academia should into be left in the conversation of the economy. So also pricing is the signal that determines is produced in an economy”, he said.
“Before going into gas production there must be off taker to be supplied the product. However, government must not sacrifice efficiency, equity and fairness to political expediency”, he warned.
Also speaking at the occasion, the National Association of Petroleum Explorationists, NAPE, has called for the creation of a Special Energy Bank to finance petroleum exploration activities in the country.
Ochogbu noted that the PIA had set aside funds for exploration of frontier basins in the country, however, the money would not be available for private sector investors.
She said exploration activities take a long time to mature, which makes commercial banks not favourably disposed to granting loans for such purposes.
“We need to have a dedicated bank like the Bank of Industry or Nigerian Export Import Bank. They can grant loans for exploration activities at reduced interest rates. So, I believe energy bank is the way to go”, she said.
Also, the Conference Chairman, Biodun Adesanya, lauded the setting aside of 30 per cent of the profit of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation for exploration activities in the frontier basins in the PIA.
Adesanya said the discovery of oil and gas resources in other areas apart from the Niger Delta was a welcome development which should be pursued with vigour by the country.
He, however, called for the appointment of competent personnel to manage the sector, noting that this was the only way Nigerians could benefit from the country’s abundant oil and gas resources.