-By Victoria Opeyemi
Professor Yemi Osinbajo, Vice President of Nigeria
The Vice President of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, made it known in his opening remarks at the 2021 Nigeria Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition with the theme “Fortifying the Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry for Economic Stability and Growth” that he was elated to be part of it. He congratulated the organisers of the forum which has been on the upfront engaging world leaders in collaborative activities to shape the global petroleum and industry agenda.
The Vice President noted that hosting the conference for the past twenty years underscores the commitment of the organisers to the Nigeria oil and gas industry for economic development and growth.
In his words, “Indeed, I commend your effort that the Covid-19 pandemic which led to an alarming healh crisis and ofset the dynamics of the global energy industry with negative impact on global economy businesses and commerce is no longer news.”
The VP said the theme of the conference is critical and the global lockdown triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic push a transforming industry into a state of major economic crisis and further amplified the global planet for cleaner and more sustainable renewable energy.
“A critical assessment of our perspective of Nigeria oil and gas stability and growth in the wave of energy transition dynamic cannot be overemphasised.
The future survival and success of players of the industry will not only depend on achieving greater focus on cleaner energy source but also upon the ability to deliver low cost solutions.”
Consequently, the government is encouraging industry players to critically focus on the country’s vast natural gas resources as a transition period that will function as a breach between dorminant fossil fuel of and a future cleaner energy.
The natural gas has a role to play to meet the global economics for cleaner energy while at the same time enabling much needed domestic industralisation for rapid economic growth in few endowed countries such as Nigeria.
“We are not unmindful of the perculiar challenges confronting the gains for oil and gas operations in Nigeria. From infrastructural deficiency and insecurity to high cost of operations to mention just a few. The government is working conscientiously to tackle all the challenges on its part to mitigate the global demand with its signatories to cleaner energy.”
The VP added that despite the current global challenges in industry, the governement has been supporting the aggressive implementation of a nation wide gas infratructure blueprint.
This has also inform its recent declaration of year 2021 to 2030 as a decade of gas after the successful kick off of the National Gas Expansion Programme in 2020.
Osinbajo told the participants at the conference that the National Assembly has passed the long awaited Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB). “This unprecendented feat has been ajudged as a water shed momment for our nation.”
He assured industry operators that the bill will be sent to the President for his assent and consideration. Infrastructural development, security issues, high cost of operations and other brilliant issues are well covered in the bill.
“On behalf of the government, I can assure you that when the eventual act is in full operation, its governance, administrative and physical provision will be one of the most attractive in Africa.”
He appreciated the cooperation of industry players during the trying period particularly in the peak of Covid-19 pandemic leading to oil crisis.
The VP urged participants of the conference to project clear innovative ideas for business sustainability and growth to enable further sophistication of the industry.