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Petroleum Ministry Key to Nigeria's Prosperous Energy Future," says Ekpo, 

..... As Lokpobiri Calls for Increased Crude Production to Boost Economy.

Nigeria's gas-to-power initiatives are pivotal, aiming to provide reliable and affordable electricity that supports industrialization and improves living standards for which the Ministry of Petroleum Resources is strongly positioned in the forefront of steering Nigeria towards a prosperous and sustainable energy future.

This was the assertion of the Minister of State Petroleum Resources (Gas), Mr Ekperikpe Ekpo while delivering his keynote address at the 23rd edition of the NOG (Nigerian Oil and Gas) Energy Week and Exhibition in Abuja which took place on Tuesday, 2nd July, 2024.

According to Mr. Ekpo, "the Ministry’s mandate involves not only formulating policies and supervising their implementation in the oil and gas industry but also, creating an enabling environment that fosters growth, innovation, and investment.

The Minister declared that, meeting the growing energy demands of Nigeria and the continent was a priority for the Ministry. 

“We recognize that natural gas is central to achieving this goal, given its status as a cleaner and more efficient fuel. 

"Our gas-to-power initiatives are pivotal, aiming to provide reliable and affordable electricity that supports industrialization and improves living standards”, he stated.

He maintained that the Ministry of Petroleum Resources was committed to highlighting the vast opportunities within Nigeria’s gas sector. 

“Through strategic initiatives and comprehensive policies, we aim to reveal the untapped potential across the entire value chain. Our natural gas reserves of 209 trillion cubic feet (tcf) are among the largest globally, offering immense possibilities for exploration, production, and utilization”. He stated.

Emphasizing the focus on promoting gas-based industries such as fertilizers, petrochemicals, and methanol, Ekperikpo Ekpo noted that, "the industries would not only diversify the economy but also create significant employment opportunities 

“By showcasing these prospects at fora like this Conference, we aim to attract global attention and encourage partnerships that can drive growth and development”, he added.

While describing investment as the lifeblood of the oil and gas sector, the Minister affirmed that the Ministry has been instrumental in implementing reforms that make Nigeria an attractive destination for both local and international investors.

He further asserted that “The Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021 and the recent Presidential Directive for Oil and Gas Companies on Tax Incentives, Exemption, Remission, among others by  President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR, have created a conducive environment for investment.

In his address, the Minister of State Petroleum Resources (Oil), Sen. Heineken Lokpobiri restated that the first directive given to him by Mr. President was to go and work with stakeholders with a view to ramping up production. 

“We have been working very closely together. All that we have been doing is because of our commitment to improving the sector.

The sole mandate is to increase production that will enable us to meet our domestic demands and also have enough that we can export and get the requisite Petro-dollars to strengthen our local economy", he stated.

He noted that “The overall objective of what has been said here, it is to increase production. 

It is when we ramp up production that we will get real value, that we would be able to get the requisite forex inflow that will take care of our forex problems and we will be able to get the money to fund our budget and get what we need to satisfy our energy demands as a country.“

He ascribed the lack of investment in the oil sector to erosion of the confidence of the investment community while companies were leaving because the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) took longer than expected to be passed, adding that, nobody wanted to invest in a climate where there is no certainty.

He informed that since the present administration came in “Our focus has been on rekindling the confidence of the investing community and I guess those of you, the Industry players who are gathered here can attest to the fact that the investment community is being  restored and that's why you have started seeing investments coming in”. 

He stated that a few weeks ago, Golar and TotalEnergies signed separate deals with NNPCL. 

“These are just the smallest part of the investment we expected to flow in”, he added.

“The President also directed that myself and the Attorney General of the Federation to resolve the issues around OML 245. I am happy to announce to you that we have resolved all the issues. 

"We also have commitments by the International Oil Companies (IOCs) to invest in Bonga North. So investments have started coming back”, the Minister stated.

This year's edition of the Nigerian Oil and Gas (NOG) Energy Week and Exhibition attracted policy makers, industry players, researchers, and other relevant stakeholders in the oil and gas sector.

This was contained in a statement issued and signed by Oluwakemi Ogunmakinwa Mrs, Deputy Director Press and Public Relations Department of the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Abuja and made available to journalists.

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