Image: Timipre Sylva – Twitter
Nigerian Minister of State for Petroleum Resources H.E. Timipre Sylva expressed urgency in the need for investors to match the commitment demonstrated by the Federal Government in growing the gas sector, while speaking at the virtual “Decade of Gas in Nigeria” conference on Monday.
Nigeria is currently undergoing a natural gas revolution – targeting a gas-powered economy by 2030 – in which both gas exports and domestic consumption levels will rise. The country is estimated to hold up to 600 trillion cubic feet of gas.
H.E. Minister Sylva noted that a lack of investor confidence is often attributed to an insufficient regulatory and fiscal framework – which lacks gas-specific terms in production sharing contracts – adding that he is hopeful that the upcoming passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) will resolve this issue in the next two months.
“That is the meeting point we need,” said H.E. Minister Sylva. “And that meeting point will give us a PIB that is going to ensure the growth of the [gas] sector in Nigeria.”
Enhanced private sector participation also relies on government minimizing gas royalties in the short-term, as noted by Engr. Saidu Mohammed, Chief Operating Officer, Gas & Power, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, during the conference.
“The expectations of royalties and taxes by the government must be relaxed to attract these investments, particularly in the first five years of the next decade,” said Mohammed.
While Nigeria seeks to expand gas within its domestic energy mix, H.E. Minister Sylva acknowledged that ongoing petroleum development remains at the forefront of the national agenda. Meanwhile, Nigeria will rely on natural gas as a transition fuel for grid-based power generation, while pursuing renewables for off-grid power development.