Akachukwu Nwokedi, president of the Nigeria Gas Association (NGA), has said gas has to be the main driver of Nigeria’s energy transition as many Nigerians do not have access to electricity.
He stated this while speaking at a panel session during the 2023 annual international conference of the Association of Energy Correspondents of Nigeria in Lagos.
Nwokedi said as the country sets its target towards net zero by 2060, it has to set its priority right by maximising its huge gas resources as a gas nation with little oil in it. “Gas has to be the main driver of our energy transition.”
According to the NGA president, there are enormous challenges confronting the country such as insecurity, asset vandalisation and community unrest, although the Petroleum Industry Act is addressing it.
“Sanctity of contract is another issue bedevilling the industry and hampering investors. The government should ensure that Nigeria is seen as an investment destination with sanctity of contract, virile fiscal and commercial framework to unlock its gas industry.”
He said that the Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission has fared well with fiscal term but it has to up its game because presently it cannot really unlock potentials of the gas industry.
“We have to unlock the supply side and create sustainable supply and demand that makes the gas sector work. Notwithstanding, there is a huge potential in the sector that the energy transition will create an avenue to achieve and drive the sector moving forward.”
According to him, capital and investment funds are attractive to places where they are welcomed. A stifled investment, harsh regulatory and unprotected legal environment will drive away investors. What to do as a government by policy is to strengthen and ease the way of doing business.
He made it known that the recent Memorandum of Understanding signed by Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited and the IOCs to reduce project time, is a healthy development for the industry.
“If investors know that the policy framework is predictable in terms of investment circle, it will be attractive. There are a lot of potentials and bottlenecks that can be eased.”
The PIA is giving an attractive tax regime that is likely to enhance and invite investors.
Continuing, Nwokedi asserted that there is need to make the industry work for operators so that the country can achieve its potentials with favourable fiscal terms while deficit debt should be addressed in the power sector.
“The PIA needs to attract investments with partnership and expunging gray areas that scare investors and cause issues for players in the industry.”
On pricing terms for gas, he said a commercial framework should be in place to make the market effective while thoroughly addressing the aspect of insecurity.