As part of efforts to drive investments in the nation’s oil downstream sector, the federal government is planning a holistic and innovative data bank that would guide industry investors and guarantee stability in the sector.
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Ambassador Gabriel Tanimu Aduda revealed this while speaking at the ongoing 16th OTL Africa Downstream Week in Lagos.
Aduda, who was represented by the Deputy Director, Downstream Department, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Engr. Augustine Okwudiafor, noted that the government is considering Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and other innovative approaches for data collation.
His words, “As we are aware, data is key in the Oil and Gas Industry – a reliable and accurate data gives Investors a certain level of assurance. Hence, the government is keen and determined to harmonize all Downstream Data across the relevant Agencies/Parastatals to eradicate data variations.”
“In light of the above, Government through the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, its Agencies and Federal Ministry of Science and Technology is considering enhanced technologies such as Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to monitor and gather downstream data for effective policy formulation and investment guidance.”
Noting the huge financial burden imposed on the Nigerian treasury by subsidy payments, he asserted that full deregulation of the oil sector would increase the level of transparency in businesses and create healthy competition among the Investors.
He also stressed that full deregulation of the sector would significantly reduce the diversion and smuggling of petroleum products across the nation’s borders.
“All hands are on deck towards the full deregulation of the downstream sector, as this will ensure commercialization and liberalization of the sector, increase investment opportunities, create more jobs and promotes seamless energy transition. All these measures and many more would cushion the projected impact of downstream sector deregulation on consumers and the economy at large,” he explained.
Meanwhile, the Chairman, Advisory Board, OTL Africa Downstream Week, Mr. Tunji Oyebanji opined that liberalization and not just deregulation was what the industry needed.
Oyebanji equally expressed optimism that a free market will allow more stability, transparency and competitive prices in the nation’s oil downstream sector.
Also speaking, the Chief Executive, National Petroleum Authority (NPA), Ghana, Mr. Mustapha Abdul-Hamid confirmed that Ghana has been able to achieve commendable deregulation most petroleum products.
Speaking on the menace of emissions from transport vehicles in the region, he opined that transiting to auto-gas will help in reducing the gas emissions from automobiles.