Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, has restated that the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) will enhance energy growth and sustainability in Nigeria.
Speaking as a participant at a ministerial roundtable at the World Petroleum Congress (WPC) in Houston Texas, Thursday, Sylva said the passage of the law had created renewed interest in the Nigerian oil and gas business environment.
According to Sylva, “The Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) has been passed into law (now PIA 2021). This strengthens the legal, regulatory, fiscal and governance framework of the petroleum sector. PIA has enhanced the Nigerian petroleum industry’s reputation, and it provides the pathway to new investments, and consolidates our ability to play a significant role in meeting the world’s growing demand for energy.”
He noted further, “PIA will assist in increasing oil and gas production to provide clean and efficient energy; and it will supply world markets with a broad portfolio of energy options and support global endeavour to alleviate energy poverty in line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 7.
“PIA proposes a fiscal regime that encourages investment in order to monetise existing reserves in the short to medium term and generous incentives to enable development, distribution, penetration and utilisation of gas.”
The minister cited the declaration of the Decade of Gas, the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) pipeline, Nigeria/Morocco pipeline, Trans-Saharan pipeline, and the Nigerian Gas Transportation Network Code as other enablers and initiatives, which “support the realisation of the full potential of the gas sector.”
Sylva noted that although Nigeria was committed to Net-zero, the country would “still require fossil fuels, especially gas, as its base-load energy source to address energy poverty and power supply.
“We have declared gas as our transition fuel, our pathway to net-zero carbon emission. This presents investments opportunities given the oil and gas reserves, which can be commercialised.”
Speaking on the financing of hydrocarbon projects in Africa, the minister said following huge divestments in oil and gas projects in the continent, it was urgent for African leaders to unit to create an energy bank that will act as the platform to support future investments in the sector.
He told the global audience that the Nigerian government would champion the creation of an African energy bank, adding that already, “Discussions have commenced with Afrexim Bank to create an energy bank, which will finance fossil fuel projects. This is necessitated by the international financial ecosystem’s stance on funding fossil projects.”