Uche Usim and Adewale Sanyaolu, Abuja
Despite rising security challenges across the country, President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday told foreign investors, especially those in the petroleum sector, not to panic as their investments remain safe.
This was as he launched the Nigerian Gas Transportation Network Code, (NGTNC), a contractual framework between gas network operator and gas shippers that specifies the terms and guidelines for operation and use of the country gas resource.
President Buhari gave the assurance at the opening of the 3rd Nigerian International Petroleum Summit (NIPS) in Abuja.
Represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha, Buhari told the offshore investors that Nigeria remains a lucrative investment destination with exceptional returns on whatever was invested into the system.
He said that the Federal Government had taken pragmatic steps to reposition the petroleum industry to make it globally competitive and attractive to global investors.
The President said: “Nigeria, as an oil producing nation remains ready and accessible for legitimate investment from all interested countries, individuals and partners. Let me assure foreign delegates that their investments are well secured in Nigeria and a high return on investment is always guaranteed. It cannot get better anywhere.
“Towards achieving the realisation of a safe and secure investment environment, this administration has taken steps to repositioned the oil and gas sector in the following areas: improve the business environment and drive investments in the upstream, midstream and downstream; reviewed and gazetted policies and regulations to enhance operations in the sector.
“Enhance accelerated had revolution by developing infrastructure for multi domestic utilisation of LPG and CNG; commence the process of commercialising gas flare and increasing gas to power; improve Niger Delta security through capacity building and economic empowerment, Enforce transparency and efficiency in the sector by building capacity, enabling the use of IT and automation and entrenching performance management; increase refineries production capacity, improve stakeholders management, international relations and bi-lateral coordination; and carry out extensive work for the passage of the PIB, to open up the oil and gas sector to competitiveness.
In his keynote address at the event, the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, said it was high time Africa energy producing nations developed local capacity to grow and sustain their technical and managerial capabilities in innovation, operations, and management of their oil and gas resources.
According to him, the gas network code would provide open and competitive access to gas transportation infrastructure and development of the gas sector, adding that the code would also stimulate the domestic gas market, drive gas-based industrialisation and the realisation of the government’s aspiration to move 100 million Nigerians out of poverty.
He said, “Effective 10th day of February 2020, the Nigerian Gas Transportation Network Code shall apply to all gas transportation arrangements between gas transporter and gas shipper as defined in the Code.