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How Open Access Can Increase Midstream Gas Investments in Nigeria

Stakeholders in the Oil and Gas sector have called on the Federal Government to adopt and implement full Open Access to increase Midstream Gas investments in Nigeria.

The call was made at a 1-day workshop on Policy Advocacy organized by the Facility for Oil Sector Transformation (FOSTER) an oil sector reform project implemented by Oxford Policy Management.

Nigeria had in June 2017 approved a new National Gas Policy (NGP) to replace the 2008 Nigeria Gas Masterplan and the reform programmes for the gas sector is set out in the National Gas Policy which aims to treat gas as an independent commodity rather than a by-product of oil production.

One of the organizers and FOSTER Consultant, Mr Dahiru Modi while speaking about Midstream Power Mapping said the National Gas Policy made it its priority to make sure that there is open access for all developers to use existing pipeline so as to reduce the cost of investment on pipeline construction and other infrastructure. He said the problem and reason for the workshop is to map out ways to go about the use of pipelines operated by other IOCs and the commercial aspect of Open Access.

Delivering a Paper on Policy Advocacy to increase Midstream Gas Investments, a Consultant with FOSTER, Mr. Temitope Akinyemi said the challenges facing investors include Funding, Bureaucratic limitations on Gas commercial processes also known as Project Slippers, the Rising Debt from Off Takers and Security concerns, issues that were also raised at a different forum by the CEO Gas and Power, Mr Yusuf Usman.

Akinyemi also looked at the cause and effect of limited Open Access which is the status quo that is bedeviled by inefficient Gas commercialization, he highlighted the outcomes of a full Open Access Impact to include Poverty Reduction, Sector Management and Higher Employment amongst other outcomes.

Another speaker at the workshop, Dr. Peter Ekweozoh, the Director, Department of Environmental Sciences and Technology called for a synergy between all stakeholders and masterminds of the various policies in the Oil and Gas sector to come together to discuss the innovations and technologies that have been brought to the fore with respect to the Open Access Impacts because these innovations need special skills to understand.

He shed light on the National Policy on methanol Fuel Production technology which he said simply explains Nigeria’s journey since the discovery of oil in Oloibiri to date and how much value the different sectors of the economy have witnessed from the oil revenue.

Dr. Ekweozor also said that Nigeria will reap the benefits of Its natural resources if it invests in Research, Development, Science and Technology, these investments he says will in turn kickstart developments in other critical sectors.

The Chair, National Gas expansion Programme, Mr mohammed Ibrahim commended FOSTER for putting up a workshop that brings the issues to the fore. He said the Buhari Administration is leveraging on the vast natural resources of Nigeria especially gas which is a catalyst for socio-economic development.

Early this year, the Minister of state for Petroleum resources, Timipre Sylva said that Nigeria will focus on 5 critical areas in the oil and gas sector in 2020, with special focus on the Midstream and Down Stream Sectors which he says will largely open enormous opportunities to local investors and create massive job opportunities.

The Minister maintained that Natural Gas has the capacity to transform any economy so government he said will deepen Gas utilization and overall monetization of gas resources.

The Lead, FOSTER, Mr Charles Majomi said there was the need to bring together, Public and private sector to discuss critical issues, relevant to the Fiscal bill and other regulations and policies of the Gas sector.

Recommendations by FOSTER include Implementation of the Gas Network Code, Review of Gas Regulations, Inclusive Stakeholder participation and Complimentary policies that encourage similar interventions in the Upstream and Downstream Sectors to maximise investments.

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