Expert tasks FG on oil sector reforms to maximise benefits

An oil and gas industry expert, Israel Aye has charged the Buhari’s administration to have the political will to restructure the nation’s oil sector in the wake of falling oil prices as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, if Nigeria must reap the maximum benefits from the sector.

The expert made the submission at an online workshop for National Assembly correspondents organised by Foster, in which he stressed the compelling need for reforms in the sector.

He revealed that Nigeria had lost a colossal $150 billion in new investments in the last 10 years because of failing to reform its oil and gas sector in a fast changing global market.

Aye averred that if the federal government had keyed into the various compelling opportunities to change the face of the oil and gas sector in Nigeria, it would have recorded outstanding gains for the country, through improved revenue earnings, technological improvement, employment generation and local content.

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He mentioned the reforms urgently needed in the sector to promote economic growth and improve oil and gas reserves, including higher production output and higher revenue is for the federal government is to reward production outcomes through incentives and not efforts that are not economically viable, and financially rewarding. 

According to Aye, who is a senior partner at Energy and Commercial Contracts, the federal government must also remove third party barriers by ensuring a level playing field for all operators in the oil and gas industry.

Emphasis, he argued must be focused in redesigning the upstream and midstream sector of the oil and gas industry to galvanize more domestic utilization and indigenous participation, “since energy consumption (including oil and gas) is what fuels economies, therefore, Nigeria’s oil and gas policies, and laws must provide the framework to achieve this.

“Government must deregulate the downstream and move from price control to price regulation to encourage sustainable investment and development in the downstream.”

He pointed out that since global challenges now impact on the local economy, Nigeria’s oil and gas outlook must always anticipate trends and events in global market, instead of reacting after such events with their negative consequences had occurred.

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