The federal government has concluded plans to explore alternative funding models for the development of oil and gas in Nigeria.
This is targeted at achieving the sustainable development of the nation’s petroleum resources despite funding challenges that investors encounter in the process of investing in Nigeria.
The Chief Executive, the Nigerian Upstream Downstream Regulatory Commission, NUPRC, Mr. Gbenga Komolafe, disclosed this at the opening of the pavilion and exhibition stand of Nigeria’s oil and gas companies at the Oil Technology Conference, OTC, which opened in Houston, Texas, United States of American, yesterday.
Komolafe said the need to develop the country’s hydrocarbon resources requires huge funding, hence the decision of the commission to develop an alternative funding model for the industry.
He assured that Nigeria will not be left behind in the energy conversation discussion as the country is a place where needs meet opportunities, adding that Africa and by extension, Nigeria is well positioned because it has all it takes to bridge the energy gap in the light of energy transition.
Komolafe maintained that Nigeria with abundant oil and gas reserves and other sources of energy is well-positioned to be a superpower if all these hydrocarbon resources are well-developed in a coordinated manner.
He also explained that the signing into law of the Petroleum Industry Act, PIA, had created a landmark reform in the petroleum industry which included an attractive fiscal and regulatory regime.
He said: “Energy transition conversation is gaining momentum globally and as a nation, we need to keep track of that conversation. Good enough, Nigeria is keeping track of the conversation and we are finetuning our policies to be in alignment with the energy conversation.
“Preparation is being progressed and recall that President Muhammadu Buhari made a commitment that the nation will attain net zero emission by 2060.
”Therefore, Nigeria has developed its energy transition plan and for us as the regulatory commission, we are finetuning our policies and regulations to be in alignment.”
“What the commission is doing is a landmark plan to organise an E&P International Financing Road Show for financiers, investment bankers, private equities, and multi-lateral institutional investors.
”The initiative is to showcase the high-value quick win opportunities available to investors in the recent PPL awards, the ongoing National Gas Flare Commercialization Programme, as well as the ongoing deepwater mini-bid awards.”
Similarly, the chairman, Lee Engineering and Construction Company Limited, Dr. Leemon Ikpea, whose company is set to open a fabrication factory in Warri, Delta State, said funding had been a very serious issue in the execution of the various projects undertaken in the industry.
He said: “It’s by special grace; we can get to where we are today. We have looked for more pragmatic ways to get the needed funding.
”Like other big enterprises working in a Nigerian economy that is dollarized, prices of materials rise unpredictably within a few days or weeks.
”It’s difficult to go back to a client to discuss new terms regarding changing prices. It will not be too much if the government grants import waivers and tax rebates to encourage investors.”