Professor Wumi Iledare
-By Felix Douglas
Reacting to the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) which was recently signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari, Professor Omowumi Iledare, Professor of Petroleum Economics and Policy Research, said it is a better choice that finally the industry has an Act. The country should ensure that gas becomes part and parcel of its economic framework.
Professor Iledare made this statement at NAEC conference during a panel session with the topic: “Boosting the nation’s economy through effective gas utilization.” He stated further that Nigeria has a good gas development plan with pipeline policy and the PIA on natural gas development, implementing the strategy is key for unlocking natural gas policy.
He advocated for a link between the industry and the academia. Therefore, “I encourage the government to be more holistic and open to opinions and not leave the academia out of the equation.”
The Professor of Petroleum Economics said training of manpower is required in the natural gas development to interact with the academia for leadership and technical development. Hence, the polytechnics and technical colleges must not be abandon because they are key to manpower development.
“There must also be producer and consumer interaction since gas is a constant commodity that before you look for it, there must be committed minds and before constructing a pipeline there has to be off takers.” According to Professor Iledare, “For gas plan to work effectively, an independent governance that is apolitical with economic expediency should be put in place.” Nigeria should learn from Qatar that developed its gas sector within ten years adding that government needs to take advantage of the PIA and NLNG model to develop the gas sector value to the economy.