The Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE), Mr Oscar Onyema, has confirmed that oil and gas firms have raised over N400 billion across several asset classes using the NSE platform in recent years.

During a webinar on the oil and gas sector organised by the NSE, Onyema said: “The oil & gas sector remains arguably one the most critical sectors to the Nigerian economy.

“The challenges within the sector, however, present a backdrop for future opportunities for governments, regulators and operators to adopt innovation across existing verticals and pivot towards growth areas.

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“The NSE on its part continues to provide a platform to access a global pool of capital, with Issuers operating in the Oil and Gas Sector raising over N400 billion across several asset classes in recent years.”

According to him, the exchange continues to collaborate with the relevant stakeholders to provide the appropriate framework supporting diversification towards renewable energy, adding that the exchange is also well positioned to facilitate needed capital formation.

The Minister for State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, said the volatility in the energy industry aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic leading to the progressive decline in crude oil price in 2020 has made it unavoidable for Nigerian industry players to seek innovative solutions or be forced by the tide to abdicate the stage for more resilient players who are willing and able to do things differently.

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In his message, the group managing director, Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mallam Mele Kolo Kyari, represented by the Group General Manager Finance, Mrs. Rose Eshiett, highlighted the impact of the twin shocks of the COVID-19 pandemic and low crude oil prices on the Nigerian economy.

“To reposition the oil and gas industry for sustainability post COVID, there must be collaboration across different dimensions: government, industry players and particularly with the host community.

“Innovation will also play a crucial role in managing cost, improving efficiency and delivering the required cash flow for reinvestment and expansion.”

Meanwhile, the Head, Oil & Gas Coverage, Renaissance Capital United Kingdom, Mr Alex Burgansky, projected an average oil price of $50/bbl over the next five years.

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The President, Nigerian Gas Association, Ms Audrey Joe-Ezigbo, stated that partnerships and collaboration will underpin any success that the oil and gas industry will enjoy going forward.

“The capital market provides viable opportunities for funding and players within the sector are certainly open to the discussion of structuring the right type of financing the industry needs,” he said.

By Chibisi Ohakah, Abuja

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