Nigeria’s Ministry of Petroleum Resources has disclosed plans to conclude the review of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) within the next one month.
The Permanent Secretary to the Ministry, Ambassador Gabriel Aduda revealed this while speaking at the opening ceremony of the ongoing 17th Oil Trading Logistics (OTL) Downstream Energy Week in Lagos.
According to to Aduda, barely two years of implementing the PIA is ripe for a review in the upstream and downstream sectors, stressing that the review will identify the pros and cons of the Act and all the areas that need to be addressed.
He, however, called on operators in the Nigerian downstream sector to work together and pool resources to invest in refining petroleum products to address the country’s energy crises, stressing that the quality of technology possessed by the operators should not be a barrier to investment in refining.
“The review is expected to hold before the second week of December 2023, where all oil and gas industry players would gather to discuss all the fundamental issues that needed to be addressed in the Act,” he said.
Aduda emphasised that the solution to Nigeria’s product refining lies in the willingness of the private sector to make the difference, to collaborate, learn, and inspire one another.
He noted that it is the responsibility of the players in the downstream sector of the oil and gas industry to shape a future where energy is clean, accessible, and equitable for all.
“While much attention has been focused on the upstream sector (exploration and production) in discussions about energy transition, the downstream sector, which involves refining, distribution, and marketing of petroleum products, plays a crucial role in this transition.”
“With the level of technology that is at their disposal no matter how crude they are. Why can’t we begin to think in the area of harnessing the limited potentials that we have and see how we can put things together to evolve a clear home-grown technology. that we can build on to be able to deliver the energy future of our dream,” the Permanent Secretary said.
Aduda further hinted that infrastructure in the downstream sector is a major factor facing the sector. He said, “Today we embark on an investment road show globally to attract investors to Nigeria, but one of the major concerns being raised is lack of investment in the sector.”
Meanwhile, the Executive Vice Chairman, OTL Africa Downstream Week, Dr. Emeka Akabogu opined that the Nigerian regulatory framework in the nation’s petroleum industry has been enhanced by the establishment of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).
“Many regulations are still undergoing development because of the relative newness of the PIA. There will probably be double the existing regulations in few years because the recent timelines of the PIA haven’t been codified following the passage,” he said.
While describing the oil and gas industry as a high-risk one and also incendiary, he stressed that the need for regulations that are vivid and implementable shouldn’t lead to regulations that stifle the industry.