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NAEC felicitates energy, power ministers, expresses readiness for collaboration

Journalists in the energy sector, under the umbrella of Association of Energy Correspondents of Nigeria (NAEC), have congratulated the newly appointed energy ministers – the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Gas), Ekperikpe Ekpo; the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), Heineken Lokpobiri, and the Power Minister, Adebayo Adelabu, and has indicated interest for collaboration.
A statement signed by its Chairman, Olu Philips, noted that the news of their appointments were cheery ones owing to their antecedents in delivering viable results in their past endeavours.
Mr. Philips explained that the country’s energy sector is currently grappling with many challenges that required quick interventions of the ministers to meet the aspirations of President Bola Tinubu’s “Renewed Hope” agenda.
The association enjoined the ministers to ensure the revival of the nation’s refineries in order to conserve the scarce foreign exchange the country is currently using to import products into the country.
He noted that with the rising global energy demand, volatile prices and increasing stringent environmental regulations, the oil and gas industry faces many challenges. Therefore, to ensure sustainable energy security for the country at reduced and affordable price, optimization of performance of the nation’s industrial assets, and achievement of enviable environmental footprints, the ministers need to bring their expertise to fully bear on the sector.
The Association’s Chairman also highlighted the pressing need to walk the talk with regard to implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act, identify its lapses and correct same accordingly.
He emphasized the need to resuscitate the moribund refineries and creating enabling environment for building of new ones. These issues according to him should be at their (ministers’) front-burners.
On subsidy removal; Philips explained that there should be a conscious effort to ensure that Nigerians benefit from the purpose for which it was yanked off.
“The downstream sector should be strengthened through promotion of ease of doing business and other viable mechanisms, and efforts should be in the top gear to explore salutary means to stop gas flaring”, he said.
Other issues highlighted for urgent attention include reduction in domestic gas prices, boosting consumption and construction of more gas infrastructure.
“The price of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) is still on the high side and there should be a way to ensure that more Nigerians consume gas, which includes affordability of the commodity by many Nigerians.
“More attention should be given to boosting autogas usage especially Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) considering the cost of petrol arising from fuel subsidy removal. More gas projects need to be executed to enable the sector contribute meaningfully to the country’s economy,” he said.
He pointed out the need to also resolve pipeline vandalism, crude oil theft, oil spills in Niger Delta, environmental pollution, insecurity around critical oil and gas assets, inadequate pipeline infrastructure, good regulatory framework, attracting more investments in deep offshore operation, among others.
To him, issues that needed to be addressed in the power sector include increase in power generation, infrastructure, effective metering of homes, good tariff system, estimated billing and others.
Mr. Philips further assured the ministers that NAEC is willing and ready to work with the petroleum and power ministries to ensure the achievement of their set goals.
“NAEC is on standby for any collaboration that will guarantee the success of the ministries’ endeavours for the good of the economy as the ministers settle down for work.
“It is our hope that with our collaboration, the industry and the supervising ministries would be a reference point for Nigerians at home and in diaspora,” he concluded.

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