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Why President Tinubu Signed Executive Orders On Oil and Gas — Aide

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Why President Tinubu Signed Executive Orders On Oil and Gas — Aide

The Special Adviser to the President on Energy, Mrs. Olu Verheijen, has given reasons why President Bola Ahmed Tinubu signed Executive Orders to transform the gas and energy sectors of the economy, submitting that gas remains the best option for Nigeria’s attainment of energy stability.

The presidential aide, who addressed the media in Abuja on Friday, pointed out that the steps taken by the president was to make gas readily available to Nigerians at affordable rates for all purposes and reduce dependence on petrol and diesel.

Mrs. Verheijen said: “Our ambitions to accelerate our economic growth and diversify the economy for the benefit of all Nigerians require timely, credible, clear and consistent policy. We are faced with a revenue crisis which is impacting all Nigerians. To urgently address this, President Bola Tinubu is actively seeking ways to grow revenue and forex to stabilize our economy and currency. The oil and gas sector is critical to our ability to do so. However, our current oil and gas production and investment levels fall significantly short of our potential.

“Since 2016, Nigeria has only accounted for only four percent four percent of Africa’s total oil and gas investments, despite possessing 38 percent of the continent’s hydrocarbon reserves. A society is not rich because of its resources but because of what it does with those resources. President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is determined to reverse this trend and take decisive steps to ensure a conducive business climate and reposition Nigeria as a preferred investment destination for the oil and gas sector,” she explained.

The energy adviser said that it was in a bid to reverse the negative tendencies in the sector that the president issued a directive to streamline and clarify the scope of two regulators in the petroleum sectors and to provide certainty and create a conducive business environment for the players.

She pointed out that consequent upon the directive, the TNP pipeline, which had been repeatedly vandalized, is now enjoying improved uptime and doubled its availability, resulting in increased liquids of over 200,000 barrels/day being transported over the last six months and increasing the availability of NLNG Trains 1-6 from 57 percent in 2023 to 70 percent in Q1 2024.

The adviser said the president had also introduced fiscal incentives to deepen Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) penetration all aimed at easing the impact of fuel subsidies on transportation cost, enabling the displacement of PMS/Diesel and contributing to stabilising the price of cooking gas in the market and support the transition to clean cooking.

The presidential aide explained that the Fiscal Incentives for Non-Associated Gas (NAG), Midstream and Deepwater Oil and Gas Developments is aimed at facilitating the monetization of Nigeria’s extensive oil and gas resources.
She said: “For Gas, 76 percent of our gas reserves remain undeveloped. This explains why, despite possessing one of the largest gas reserves globally, we lack sufficient gas to meet our domestic needs for industry, for power and for cooking. The fiscal incentives introduced will attract the much-needed investments to enhance energy security, catalyze economic activity, attract essential foreign exchange, and promote job creation.

“The President has issued directives to reduce contracting timelines and project delivery. Benchmarking and analysis revealed that the contracting cycle takes up to 36 months. This Directive should have the effect of compressing this cycle to less than 6 months in line with global averages. This will expedite the delivery of oil and gas products to the market and enhance overall value for the country.

“Local Content Practice Reform: This Directive seeks to ensure that local content requirements are implemented in a manner that does not impede investments or the cost competitiveness of oil and gas projects.

This Directive aims to reduce the cost premium of operating in Nigeria, presently averaging at 40 percent. We anticipate significant benefits from this reform, including the development of local companies’ capacity, thereby generating additional business opportunities, job creation and boosting economic growth.

On how the new policies would be implemented for effective results, the presidential aide explained that the assignments had been shared among different levels of government agencies to be followed up by her office.

Under the arrangement, she said, the Minister of Finance/Co-coordinating Minister of the Economy will develop and propose amendments to introduce fiscal incentives for deep-water developments into legislation while the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) will issue guidelines on the implementation of the fiscal incentives.

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