Journalists in the energy sector have congratulated newly appointed energy ministers- the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Gas), Ekperikpe Ekpo, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), Heineken Lokpobiri, and the Power Minister, Adebayo Adelabu, and has indicated interest for collaboration.
In a statement by the Association of Energy Correspondents of Nigeria, NAEC, signed by its Chairman, Olu Philips on Wednesday, noted that the news of their appointment was a cheery one, owing to their antecedents to deliver viable results in their past endeavours.
Mr. Philips explained that the country’s Energy sector is grappling with many challenges that required quick intervention of the ministers to meet the aspirations of President Bola Tinubu’s “Renew Hope” agenda.
“The association enjoined the ministers to ensure the revival of the nation refineries, and conserve the scarce foreign exchange the country is currently using to import products into the country”, he said.
He noted that with the rising global energy demand, highly volatile prices and increasingly stringent environmental regulations, the oil and gas industry faces many challenges, and must ensure reducing costs, optimise the performance of its industrial assets, and improve its environmental footprints.
The Association also highlighted the pressing need to walk the talk as regarding implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act, identify its lapses and correct same accordingly.
According to release, resuscitating the moribund refineries and creating enabling environment for construction of new ones should also be a front-burner issue.
On subsidy removal; Philips explained that there should be conscious efforts to ensure that Nigerians benefit from the purpose for which it was yanked off.
“The downstream sector should be strengthened through promotion of ease of doing business and other viable mechanism, and efforts should be in the top gear to explore salutary means to stop gas flaring”, he said.
Other issues highlighted for urgent attention included; reduction in domestic gas prices, boosting consumption, including construction of more gas infrastructure.
“This is still on the high side and there should be a way to ensure that more Nigerians increasing consume gas.
More attention should be beamed on boosting autogas, and Compressed Natural Gas consumption, especially now that fuel subsidy is no more. More gas projects need be executed to enable the sector to contribute meaningfully to the country’s economy,” he said.
The need to also resolve pipeline vandalism, crude oil theft, oil spills in Niger Delta, , pollution, insecurity, fuel pricing, Inadequate pipeline Infrastructure, good regulatory framework, attracting more investment deep offshore and others, were also pointed out.
Issues that needed to be addressed in the power sector include; increase in power generation, infrastructure, effective metering of homes, good tariff system, estimated billing and others.
Mr. Philips further assured the ministers that NAEC was willing to work with the Petroleum and Power Ministries, to ensure the achievement of their set goals.
“NAEC is on standby for any collaboration that will guarantee the success of the ministry’s endeavours as the Ministers of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil) and (Gas) and Power settle down for work.
“It is our hope that by our collaboration, the industry and the supervising Ministry would be a reference point in the minds of Nigerians both at home and abroad,” he concluded.