Tremendous progress has been made by the administration of president Muhammadu Buhari in the oil and gas industry in the last four years, a report published by the federal ministry of petroleum resources on the impact of the 7BIGWins initiative of government has revealed.
The 7BIGWins project launched by president Buhari in 2016 was an intellectual exercise essentially designed to capture the oil and gas sector holistically with the view to ensure that the industry takes off and run effectively, efficiently and seamlessly.
Under the initiative which was championed and implemented by former minister of state for petroleum resources, Dr Ibe Kachukwu, big wins were recorded in seven critical areas including policy and regulation, accelerated income streams, gas regulation, refineries and local production capacity, Niger Delta and security, transparency and efficiency, and stakeholder management and international coordination.
According to the report, robust policies and laws were formulated to drive efficiency, encourage investment and improve local participation in the sector. “At the moment, we have new policies, we have a lot more guidelines that we have gazetted and this shows a lot of transparency if you are able to gazette guidelines that give investors a lot of confidence because they know what you are expecting from them and it is encouraging to them. Key initiatives were also implemented to generate revenue for government that includes initiating capital investment into midstream and downstream assets for example pipelines, depots and refineries; review of government equities in JVs, conduction of early lease renewal, ensure payment of outstanding royalties by oil companies, refinancing of NNPC loans, implementation of targeted borrowing, restructuring of JVs to IJVs, review and update of fiscal type guidelines to bring them in line with best practices,” the report says.
In terms of the Nigerian gas revolution agenda which seeks to introduce a significant boom in the oil and gas industry, it was also revealed in the report that the 7BIGWins was supported by enabling policies that were already being implemented to jump start the gas industry. “The actualization of this agenda would certainly ensure improved power availability for all, a geographically spread industrialization and repositioning of the country as the regional center for gas-based industries. We have equally done the gas flare commercialization programme which idea is to take away gas flare which is a health hazard issue. Right now, we are 75 per cent gone, remaining 25 percent to go. A lot is also being done with deepening of LPG gas. We want to domesticate the use of gas which is much better for the environment and much safer for the people health wise than using other fuel sources,” the report highlighted.
In the area of refineries and local production capacity, the report showed that comprehensive rehabilitation and revamp of existing refineries were carried out, while domestic refining capacity was done in co-location, greenfield and modular. “This is aimed at transiting Nigeria from being a massive importer of petroleum products to a net exporter of petroleum products and value added petrochemicals. It also helps to diversify export base and enhance import substitution, improve GDP growth and generate employment. Besides, Project 100 was launched specifically to identify 100 Nigerian companies that can get upscaled into competition for opportunities so that we can begin to get full benefits for local content,” the report further revealed.
In terms of the Niger Delta militancy, stabilizing production, transparency and efficiency as well as stakeholder management and international coordination, the report indicated that tremendous achievements were also recorded in the said areas. “Once we achieved peace in the Niger Delta, production volume moved up from 800,000 Bpd to 2.1million Bpd which is very good. In the area of transparency, we published the first monthly report of NNPC way back from 2015. That practice has continued and so people are able to know what is going on. We put very efficient policies in all the agencies – DPR, PPRA and so on so that people can know what is happening and get update about their activities. The monthly report and the KPR have been set and continued to be monitored on oversight on a monthly basis. Apart from being the President of OPEC in 2015 which was an inherited position, we created a level of trust and believe in our system to the point where we are able to help elect a Secretary General for OPEC and our contributions continued to be very valued, while the absolute focus is to get the four refineries working to their full capacity of 450,000 barrels back on track using private capital,” the report emphasized.