President Muhammadu Buhari has declared that Nigeria would strengthen its position as regional leader in the oil and gas industry, adding that his administration would spare no effort to ensure maximum benefit from the nation’s huge natural resources.
Speaking yesterday at the virtual inauguration of the National Oil and Gas Excellence Centre (NOGEC) at the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) headquarters, Lagos, Buhari pledged that the Federal Government would leverage oil and gas for development and pursue economic diversification.
Underscoring the importance of the centre in enhancing contribution of the sector to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and strengthening Nigeria’s leadership, the President submitted that the facility had opened a new set of opportunities in terms of investments, cost reduction, safety and capacity development.
The Nigerian leader urged players and stakeholders to back efforts in harnessing the abundant prospects for a better nation.
He lauded the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, Director/ CEO of DPR, Sarki Auwalu and the entire staff for actualisation of the project.
On impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy, Buhari recalled that in 2020, the entire globe suffered severe shocks following outbreak of the virus.
He said Nigeria was not spared, as oil price crashed and outputs slumped, impacting negatively on revenue projections and the national economy.
The President added: “However, we are emerging more resilient in 2021 owing, in part, to efforts of the agencies of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources which work under my leadership and direct supervision of the Honourable Minister of State to keep oil and gas production levels stable, optimise government revenues and ensure domestic energy security.”
The minister, Sylva, said the centre, consisting of five units, comprehensively covers key areas of the industry, while enhancing safety, value and cost-efficiency.