NAEng holds Press Conference, Responds to Presidential Directives to Boost Oil & Gas Sector

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By Maymunah Zubair.

The Nigerian Academy of Engineering (NAEng) convened a press conference today to address the recent policy directives by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu aimed at enhancing the investment climate and positioning Nigeria as a premier investment destination for the oil and gas sector in Africa.

Led by Prof. Azikiwe Peter Onwualu, President of NAEng, the conference highlighted the pivotal role of engineering in various sectors and underscored the academy’s commitment to advising the government on pertinent policy matters.

Prof. Onwualu emphasized the significance of the energy, oil, and gas sectors in driving economic growth, stressing the importance of engineering solutions in addressing challenges across industries.

President Tinubu’s directives, as outlined in a press release, include the introduction of fiscal incentives for non-associated gas, midstream, and deepwater developments, streamlining contracting processes, and ensuring local content compliance without hindering investments.

In response, NAEng commended the directives, noting their potential to attract foreign and local investments, accelerate project delivery, and reduce costs. The academy further suggested measures to improve the gas reserve base, encourage exploration, and optimize production levels.

During the Q&A session, key speakers provided valuable insights:

Former President of the Nigeria Society of Chemical Engineering, Engr. Onochie Anyaoku advocated for privatizing refineries, citing the NLNG model as a successful precedent for efficiency and safety. Engr. Anyaoku stated that privatisation of the refineries eschews traditional government approch and empasises high level of competence, as well as attention to detail and safety. in his view, government ownership of complex assets are low performing because competence is deemphasised.

In his remarks, Former GMD of NNPC, Engr. Andrew L Yakubu emphasized the importance of fiscal incentives in making gas projects attractive for investment and highlighted the role of LNG in reducing flaring and enhancing value.

The President, Nigeria Society of Chemical Engineers, Engr. Anthony Ogbuigwe underscored the need for increased investment in the gas sector to mitigate environmental concerns and create job opportunities. He also reiterated that LNG has reduced gas flaring by 75% and can be further reduced by encouraging investment in the gas sector, and stated that upstram and downstraem exploration provides job opportunities.

In his closing remarks, Prof. Onwualu reiterated NAEng’s commitment to supporting the government’s efforts, particularly in promoting sustainable energy solutions and technological innovation. He announced the launch of the Engineering Innovation Award, aimed at fostering innovation and supporting startups in the engineering sector.

The press conference concluded with a call for coordinated efforts between the government and industry stakeholders to realize the full potential of Nigeria’s oil and gas sector, paving the way for economic growth and sustainability.