By Bassey Udo
L-R: Director Monitoring & Evaluation Directorate, NCDMB, Tunde Adelana; Minister of State Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva; Executive Secretary, NCDMB, Simbi Wabote, and Director Planning, Research & Statistics, NCDMB, Patrick Obah, in Lagos, on Monday
For the country to grow its domestic petroleum products refining capacity, there must be synergy among stakeholders in the midstream and downstream sectors of the petroleum industry, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, has said.
Sylva, who spoke in Lagos, on Monday at the opening of a two-day dialogue on “Maximizing Potentials in the Midstream and Downstream Oil and Gas sector – a local content perspective” said such synergy would strengthen local content and boost the country’s domestic refining capacity.
The dialogue was organized by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), “to sensitize and enlighten stakeholders about the Board’s capacity building intervention initiatives in support of Nigerian Content Development in the Midstream and Downstream sectors”.
Sylva said the interface between operators in the midstream and downstream sectors of the petroleum industry would “create a forum for top level dialogue that will articulate an agenda for actualizing the full potentials and prospects of the massive investments in the sectors.”
The mandates of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources under the Next Level Agenda of Mr. President, the Minister said, was to increase the domestic refining capacity.
The government’s effort at boosting domestic refining capacity, he said, led to the NCDMB’s partnership with local companies, such as Waltersmith Refinery, Azikel Refinery, and Atlantic Refinery “to be the catalyst for the industrialization of the Nigerian Oil and Gas industry and its linkage sectors”.
Sylva maintained that “NCDMB’s investments in Eraskon Nigeria Limited for a lubricating oils blending Plant, Bunorr Integrated Energy Limited for the production of lube oil and other lubricants in-country, and Duport Midstream Company for the establishment of an energy park, comprising a modular refinery and gas processing facility, have shown a broad spectrum of partnerships in the midstream and downstream value chain.
Besides, he said the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) has “introduced a governance framework for the industry with clear delineation of roles between regulation and profit-centric business units.”
In addition , he said the PIA contained a number of fiscal incentives to help attract investments in gas development and local refining, while also providing exceptional care for host communities and future energy security through dedicated funding for renewable energy development and local content.
He commended President Muhammadu Buhari for creating the enabling environment in the oil and gas sector for local content to thrive, adding that “under the “Decade of Gas Initiative”, gas has been declared a transition fuel towards the country’s actualization of a net- zero carbon emission agenda.
“Government has supported critical projects such as Niheria LNG Train 7, Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) Gas Pipeline, Nigeria/Morocco Gas Pipeline, Trans- Saharan Pipeline, and the National Gas Transportation Network Code, to help realise that objective.
Expressing optimism at the outcome of the dialogue between the various industry stakeholders at the forum, Sylva said his expectation was that at the end of the dialogue, “we would have broadened our knowledge to the Nigerian Content opportunities associated with the midstream and downstream sectors.
“We must find ways to unlock the natural gas and domestic production potentials of Nigeria and drag millions of our people out of energy poverty,” he said.