The Minister of State Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, has said Nigeria would experience unprecedented progress in the oil and gas sector this year, notwithstanding the challenges.
Towards the end of last year, President Muhammadu assented to the age-long Petroleum Industry Bill, creating a new opportunity for the industry.
Sylva noted that the new law presented an opportunity for cascading investment that would unlock the many potentials of the sector, adding that the current year would bring to reality the opportunities in the nation’s hydrocarbon resources.
Barely a year to the 2023 general election, Sylva on his appointment in 2019, had promised the eradication of smuggling of PMS across Nigerian borders, the completion of gas flare commercialisation programme, increase of total production output to three million barrels per day and the reduction of the cost of crude oil production by at least five per cent.
Sylva also listed the increase of domestic refining capacity as well as the implementation of the amended deep offshore and inland basin production sharing contract as his key agenda.
Most of the promises remained elusive amidst continuous importation of premium motor spirit (PMS), smuggling, low reserves and daily production.
While investment in the sector is also facing critical pressure as investors push away from fossil fuels, Sylva said: “This is going to be a great year for Nigeria in the oil and gas sector of the economy.
“With the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), Nigeria has set the stage for increased investments in the sector. We now have a law that governs the sector and creates confidence in the minds of potential investors and is confident that we will make unprecedented progress in the coming years”.
According to him, citizens need to continue to think positively of a better Nigeria. He added that the Buhari administration would do its best to ensure that things continue to get better for the citizenry.
“2022 is going to be a good year for Nigeria. Things have started shaping up and with our collective support and prayers, we will achieve the Nigeria of our dream. This is not the time to despair but to rekindle our hope of a great and prosperous Nigeria.
“We need to keep hope alive and dream big in 2022. The outgoing year was a challenging one especially with the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said, adding that despite the challenges that characterised the year “the government of President Buhari was able to make some remarkable achievements in the different sectors of the nation’s economy”.