Future of Nigeria’s oil industry in the hands of regulators says Minister


By Tunde Opalana

Minister of State, Petroleum Resources (Oil), Senator Heineken Lokpobiri yesterday emphasized the importance of regulators in the oil industry who he said are crucial to the survival of the industry in Nigeria.

Speaking during an inspection visit to the permanent site of the under- construction headquarters of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) Headquarters in Abuja Thursday, the Minister stressed that regulators such as the NUPRC was central to the sustainable growth of the nation’s oil industry.

Lokpobiri said, ”Nigerian economy was largely dependent on oil and so having a very conducive environment for them to work cannot be over emphasized” saying that, in order to bring out the best out of the workforce, a conducive working environment must be put in place.”

While commending NUPRC for its giant strides in surpassing its revenue generation projection for the country in the current year, he promised that the Federal Government would fulfil its own part of the obligation so that the project is completed on schedule.

According to a statement yesterday by Mrs. Oluwakemi Ogunmakinwa,
Deputy Director (Press and Public Relations), Lokpobiri promised to look into all the concerns raised by the Project Contractor, Julius Berger, while responding to question from the media at the construction site.

The minister also reaffirmed that government would provide necessary measures and incentives that would attract more investors into the oil sector.

Earlier in his presentation, the Commission Chief Executive (CCE), Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), Engr. Gbenga Komolafe, said as at July, 2023, the Commission had already surpassed 50 percent of the revenue target set for the Commission in the current year, adding that, in the last three years, the Commission had exceeded its revenue projection which he ascribed to the dedication and hard-work of the commission’s workforce that were well-motivated.

Komolafe told the Minister that the Commission was focused on its regulatory role and is working assiduously to increase the nation’s oil and gas reserves, adding that, the Commission was stepping up the transparency in hydrocarbons accounting through the strategies and regulations that were being put in place.

He restated the provisions in the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), particularly the Host Communities Development Trust, targeted at the host communities with a view to ensuring inclusiveness in a manner that would encourage smooth and peaceful operations of the oil companies vis-à-vis the attainment of set production and revenue targets.

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He further said the Commission through one of its Departments was working on reducing the unit cost per barrel, which was targeted at ensuring that the nation’s upstream industry was attractive to investors as it ensures good rate of return on investment.

The Commission Chief Executive noted that the Commission was poised in ensuring the decarbornization of the environment which was in consonance with Nigeria’s commitment to net-zero carbon emission.

The Manager, Principal Artec Limited, Mr. Taofik Popoola in his presentation said that the Commission deserved a world-class edifice that is in line with global best practices and promised that the project would be delivered within the stipulated time.

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