Nigeria’s minister of state, petroleum resources, Mr. Timipre Sylva has expressed government determination to fully catalyze investments in the midstream and downstream sectors of the petroleum sector, with a view to creating employment for teeming youths and maximizing local content opportunities.
Speaking at the just concluded Nigerian Content Midstream and Downstream Oil and Gas Summit organized by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) in Lagos, the minister stated that the Nigerian government is exploring the huge opportunities and potentials contained in the midstream and downstream sectors.
He commended the NCDMB for intervening to foster dynamism in the sectors through the summit. Sylva confessed that until recently the midstream and downstream sectors did not receive deserved focus.
According to him, the situation has changed following he recently enacted Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), which contains fiscal incentives to attract investment in gas development, distribution, penetration, and utilization and provides exceptional care for host communities.
The minister charged industry stakeholders to take determined steps to unlock natural gas and domestic production potentials and use the opportunities in the gas ecosystem to drag millions of Nigerians out of energy poverty.
In his welcome address, the NCDMB executive secretary, Mr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote affirmed that the Board is keen to maximize Local content opportunities in the midstream and downstream sectors because they offer the greatest number of employment opportunities as well as longevity of jobs in contrast to the upstream sector of the oil industry.
“This provides means to absorb outputs of our human capacity development programs in the form of job opportunities,” he stated.
He also informed that the entry barrier for businesses to partake in the midstream and downstream sectors of the industry is relatively lower compared to the upstream sector and there are vast business opportunities in the midstream to downstream sectors, ranging from processing, transportation, storage, and distribution that could be started on small scale and later scaled up to bigger enterprises thereby growing in-country capacities and capabilities.
According to Wabote, the profit margin is also attractive in the midstream and downstream, especially in the LPG distribution value chain and this serves as an incentive to attract a wider number of players.
He emphasized the need to maximize the potentials of the midstream and downstream sectors to ensure energy security and national pride, adding that the direct social impact of a productive and efficient midstream and downstream sector of the oil and gas industry also needs to be maximized.
The Executive Secretary further explained that the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act established NCDMB as the regulator of Nigerian Content in the entire spectrum of the Nigerian oil and gas industry.