President Muhammadu Buhari, on Thursday, pledged to continue the Federal Government’s economic diversification through the utilisation of oil and gas revenues.
Speaking at the virtual inauguration of the National Oil and Gas Excellence Centre at the Department of Petroleum Resources headquarters, Lagos, he said: ”You would recall that at the beginning of this administration, we set a clear roadmap for the oil and gas sector in order to increase value from the nation’s huge resource potentials and create opportunities for investors, both local and foreign when I declared that: ‘Nigeria is Open for Business!’
“I am delighted that since then, we have witnessed major Final Investment Decisions in the sector such as the AKK Pipeline project, the NLNG Train-7 project, and the completion of the 5,000 barrels per day Waltersmith Modular refinery.
“Our renewed drive for economic diversification using the oil and gas industry as a pivot remains on track as we expand government revenues and deploy it to grow our Gross Domestic Product, generate employment and contribute to eliminating poverty in Nigeria.
“This National Oil and Gas Excellence Centre will serve as an integrated resource complex to drive safety, value and cost efficiency in the industry. It is, therefore, another milestone in the development of the oil and gas sector and the realisation of greater value for the country.”
The President, who noted that the centre has opened a new set of opportunities for the Nigerian Petroleum Industry in terms of investments, said: ”The establishment of the National Oil and Gas Excellence Centre aligns with our administration’s commitment to foster stability, growth, and sustainability of the Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry consistent with the economic development and sustainability agenda articulated in the National Petroleum Policy 2017, National Gas Policy 2017, Economic Recovery and Growth Plan and the Economic Sustainability Plan, 2020.”
Similarly, the Director/CEO, DPR, Engr. Sarki Auwalu, said: “The journey to NOGEC began with the express mandate of Mr. President for the Industry to reduce cost, improve efficiency and create employment. Based on these directives and the ministerial delivery priorities, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) identified five (5) key initiatives that will help to achieve the intent of Mr. President’s mandate. It is pertinent to note that the entire oil and gas business is hinged on revenue and safety, which provide the basis for identifying the five (5) initiatives that form the pillars of NOGEC.
“The National Oil and Gas Excellence Centre encompasses industry-focused programmes that will drive strategic mediation in operations, skills and competence development, use of Big Data, Internet of things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) for decision making, deployment of proven technology for secondary and tertiary oil recovery as well as a coordinated response for an emergency. Today, we have concluded the framework and implementation modalities for the successful take-off of these Programmes within the National Oil and Gas Excellence Centre due for imminent commissioning. We have no doubt that the Industry now has the resource and platform to interact, cooperate and collaborate on salient industry issues that remain impediments to cost reduction, safe operations, and optimum value optimisation.”
However, the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, said the facility would culminate in the sustainable development of the nation’s oil and gas industry.