The Vice-president, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) has said that the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) will define Nigeria’s energy industry in the next 25 years.
He said the PIA and Nigeria’s gas initiatives will help transform the country into a gas-based industrialized economy and also create a better-managed petroleum industry with more value additions for both investors and Nigerians alike.
Osinbajo spoke at a virtual event to mark the 25th anniversary of Sahara (Energy) Group.
Persecondnews recalls that President Muhammadu Buhari had on August 16, 2021, assented to the Petroleum lndustry Bill and also inaugurated a Steering Committee to oversee the process of its implementation.
“The main goal of the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill and the gas initiatives aforementioned is to transform Nigeria not only into a gas-based industrialized nation through enhanced accelerated gas revolution, but also to help create a better-managed petroleum industry where both the people of Nigeria and investors alike can extract value.
“The next 25 years will be defining for the energy industry,” Osinbajo said in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande.
Speaking on the gas initiatives being implemented by the Buhari administration, the Vice-President said the gas initiatives include the drive to encourage investments in gas production and optimize the nation’s enormous gas potential.
He said: “locally we launch into the brave new world for the oil and gas industry with the Petroleum Industry Act 2021. And this happily converges with the launch of the Year 2020 to 2030 as the ‘Decade of Gas Development for Nigeria’. This is a follow-up to the highly successful initiative of the Year 2020 as the Year of Gas.
“In addition, Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) is being developed into an alternative automobile fuel as a means of affording Nigerians cheaper, cleaner and additional fuel.
“This way, there will be a reduction in the ecological and economic costs of energy.
“There is also the Gas Masterplan which provides for investment in the necessary infrastructure for gas transportation across the nation.
“All of these will reduce local crude oil dependency, whilst strengthening the drive for cleaner sources of energy as a nation.”
Persecondnews recalls that in November 2020 the National Gas Expansion Programme was launched which focuses on the distribution of Compressed Natural Gas and Liquefied Petroleum Gas across gas stations operated by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
Commending Sahara Group for being “a great ambassador for the Nigerian entrepreneurial brand,” the VP noted that the group has demonstrated “bold, innovative, knowledge-driven business models that are designed to seize opportunities in other countries and have done so with remarkable success in many African countries.”
Osinbajo restated the need for a just transition to zero-emission, as well as more advocacy to stop the de-funding of gas and fossil fuel projects in developing countries.
While congratulating the Sahara Team for its 25 years of achievements in the energy industry, the VP wished them more remarkable 25 years ahead, even as he urged the group and other indigenous energy companies to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the African Continental Free Trade Agreements.
“Nigerian companies have shown capacity in operations and financing of oil and gas assets. Within this group of patriotic local investors, Sahara has consistently blazed the trail as industry leaders in not just the Petroleum sector, but in the Power sector as well,” he said.
In his remarks, Executive Director of Sahara Group, Mr Kola Adesina, noted that the energy conglomerate remained proud of its rich Nigerian and African heritage which has given the company impetus to innovate through challenges to become a global player.
“Sahara Group is already looking ahead to a future that will be driven by technology, artificial intelligence and renewable energy solutions to enhance access to energy and environmental sustainability.”