Solution To Nigeria’s Economic Challenge Is In Petroleum Sector – Lokpobiri

The Minister of State Petroleum Resources (Oil), Sen. Heineken Lokpobiri, has said that the Petroleum Sector in Nigeria had the solutions to the country’s problems in the short term given that 90% of Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings are from the petroleum sector.

Lokpobiri stated this in his keynote address at the Ministry’s 2024 Sector Retreat on Tuesday, 26th March 2024 in Abuja.

The theme of the retreat is: “Building Synergy for Enhanced Development in the Oil and Gas Sector”

The Minister said the retreat was convened to discuss how to achieve the targets and mandates set for the Ministry of Petroleum Resources by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu at the Ministerial retreat held in November 2023.

“The first target is to see how we can ramp up production. If we ramp up production, we will be able to meet our targets in terms of increase in revenue and our obligations in the midstream and downstream”, he noted.

“As part of our efforts to see how we can ramp up production, we are working closely with the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd. (NNPCL), the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), and with other Agencies. We are tackling the issue of insecurity, and pipeline vandalization to see how we can attract investment on a sustainable basis, not just at the upstream but also in the midstream and downstream”

While charging participants to discuss ways to ensure the sustainability of the competitiveness of Nigeria’s environment, Lokpobiri noted, “It is also our obligation to see how we can create the best environment for investments to come in and to ensure that our fiscal regulatory framework is globally competitive”

In his address at the retreat, the Minister of State Petroleum Resources (Gas), Rt. Hon. Ekperikpe Ekpo stated that the retreat was aimed at repositioning the hydrocarbon sector for optimal performance, in line with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda to unlock our abundant Gas Resources for economic development.

Ekpo emphasized that Nigeria, endowed with over 208Tcf in proven gas reserves, should not be grappling with energy poverty.

“It is imperative for us collectively to confront these challenges head-on. In alignment with the overarching goal of fostering high performance and accountability within the government, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu (GCFR) has issued the Presidential Priorities and Ministerial Deliverables 2023 – 2027. This initiative seeks to establish a robust performance-tracking mechanism for the Minister of Petroleum Resources and the pertinent Agencies under his purview”, he added.

Ekpo further stated that the urge to further promote ease of doing business and to stimulate the discovery and development of our abundant hydrocarbon resource was the driving force for President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s issuance of an Executive Order for the Ministry of Petroleum Resources.

Earlier in his address, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Amb. Nicholas Agbo Ella informed that “Our mission, as outlined in our various mandates, the administration’s goals, and the Petroleum Industry Act of 2021, emphasizes the need for a paradigm shift toward sustainable growth and impactful change”

He said the commitment of the Ministry was not just to conducting business as usual but to fostering lasting transformation within the sector.

The Directors and Heads of Units in the Ministry along with the Heads of Agencies under the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, among others, were among the participants at the Ministerial retreat.

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