By Ndubuisi Micheal Obineme
The Nigerian Federal Government has once again reiterated its commitment to repositioning the downstream sector through making new policies that will support the activities in the sector and also boosting the refining capacities in the country.
In his opening speech, The Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, said that the Nigerian Government is focused on the holistic development of the downstream sector, creating a friendly environment and enormous opportunities for the industry players.
The minister further explained that new action plans will be taken to encourage Public-Private Partnerships in the downstream sector especially in the areas of fixing and expansion of existing pipeline infrastructures and depots.
“We will actively collaborate with the private sector to create a large number of well-paying jobs for Nigerian youths.
“The government is currently finalizing clearer and more transparent regulatory framework with well-delineated activities to support the rapid infrastructural development in the sector including new refining capacities emerging in the country.
“Government will aggressively promote the passage of PIB which will among others, in respect of the downstream sector, engender: a focused Regulatory Agency; Regulated tariff and open access – pipeline and terminals, Establishment of customer protection principles including transparency and accountability; Introduction of transportation network code; Regulatory enforcement; Better relation amongst all stakeholders.
“The flare gas commercialization will be aggressively pursued albeit with foolproof framework, void of ambiguity to ensure sufficient economic benefits to the nation.
“LPG expansion programs to make it the first choice of energy for domestic and industrial purposes is ongoing. This is being pursued through “the LPG Penetration Initiative” of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources. The framework is designed to achieve at least 40% fuel switch to LPG by 2025, attainment of 5MM MT domestic utilization of LPG and the creation of an estimated 500,000 job opportunities within the next 5 years.
“The recently launched ‘Operation White’ has been strategically developed to eradicate the smuggling of PMS across Nigerian borders. The Government will not relent on the sustenance of the program. A team of 89 persons drawn from 5 key Agencies has been mandated to ensure transparency and accountability in the distribution of petroleum products across the country.
“Refurbishment of the existing refineries to achieve full capacity operations shall be fast-tracked: (PH ongoing, others to follow by Q1 & Q2 2020),” the minister added.
The 13th Oil Trading and Logistics Africa Downstream Week took place on 28 – 29 October 2019 in Lagos. OTL Africa has set agenda for petroleum business, policy and competition for the growth and development of the downstream sector.