The Executive Secretary, Petroleum Technology Development Fund(PTDF), Dr. Bello Aliyu Gusau at the 14th Nigerian Association for Energy Economics (NAEE), Conference has on behalf of the Fund, pledged to continually provide manpower requirement of the oil and gas industry in Nigeria. The conference was organized by NAEE, in collaboration with the International Association for Energy Economics(IAEE) with the theme for this year’s Conference as “Strategic Responses of Energy Sector to Covid-19 Impacts on African Economies”.
In his welcome address, the Executive Secretary, ably represented by Mr. Olajide Adebulehin, General Manager, Strategic Planning and Documentation(SP&D), PTDF, at the Association’s 2021 Annual Conference hosted by the Fund, said, that the continued support of the Fund in that regard, would help to stabilize the economy in the wake of the Covid-19 Pandemic.   According to him, the Conference intends to explore the strategic responses of the energy sector because of the Covid-19 Pandemic and the impact it has on the African Economies. He stated that the effects of the Pandemic have a significant decreasing impact on the Continent’s Gross Domestic Product, individually and collectively. The reduction in the Gross Domestic Product has resulted in the loss of employment, increase in the poverty level, high inflation rate, food insecurity and other dire consequences emanating from the global Pandemic. “It is clear that before we can return to the same or higher levels of GDP, the oil and gas/energy sector will need to evolve and adapt pertinent strategic responses to the pandemic” he said. Furthermore, the Executive Secretary affirmed the Fund’s readiness to support the industry through capacity building. He also added that “in the wake of this new framework and thrust to normalize the road to economic stability, it is definite that capacity building will play a major role in this upward transition. On that note, PTDF would always be available to intervene and support the industry,” he reiterated.
Addressing participants at the conference, the President of the Nigerian Association for Energy Economics(NAEE), Professor Yinka Omorogbe, emphasized the need for Africa to grow its energy industry through diversification. According to the professor, Africa is endowed with abundant energy resources such as coal, tidal and wave energy, natural gas, wind, bitumen, geothermal energy, crude oil, solar energy, etc. However, she regrets that these God-given resources to Africa are gravely under-utilized for the use of the people,  stressing that the inability to harness these natural resources in Africa, by extension Nigeria, has inadvertently brought about untold hardship to the people, thereby making Nigeria the poverty capital of the world, a position which was hitherto comfortably occupied by India. She expressed hope that the harmonized Petroleum Industry Bill(PIB) would address these energy crises in the country if passed into law. “The primary promise on the horizon is the Petroleum Industry Bill, which one hopes will soon be assented to by the President. My opinion is premised on the fact that there is no alternative to a total reform of the Nigerian oil industry if Nigeria is ever to realize its full potentials”.
Speaking at the Conference, the Vice-President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osibanjo, stressed that the oil and gas industry, which serves as a critical aspect of Nigeria’s economy, is the most hit from the effect of the Covid-19 Pandemic principally because its operations rely on human input. Adeptly represented at the occasion by the Special Adviser to the President on Infrastructure, Engr. Ahmad Zakari disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari led administration is doing everything possible to bring a significant transformation in Nigeria’s energy sector. He said these transformational initiatives are geared towards bringing about positive and indelible marks in Nigeria’s economy. Some of these initiatives, according to him, include the NLNG Train 7, FID project, which will lead to an increase in capacity of up to 30% at the Bonny Island and keep Nigeria at the forefront of leaders in Liquefied Natural Gas globally, the $2.6 billion AKK pipeline that will allow closer integration of energy access and increase the number of gas-based industries across the country; Electricity Tariff Reforms with the Service-Based Tariff that have increased collections from the electricity sector by 63%, increasing revenue assurance for gas producers and stabilizing the value chain, and an accelerated investment of over $3 billion infrastructure to put Nigeria on the path to growth. Other notable transformational projects outlined by the Vice-President include; the Okpai PH II; the Afam III; the Zungeru Hydro, and the Kashimbilla Hydro Power Plants, which he said would add more than 1000 MW of capacity in both gas and renewable segments. He noted the administration’s readiness to pass the Petroleum Industry Bill into law, which he said will clarify and improve economic opportunities for the petroleum sector.
In his presentation, the Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, and Chairman of the Occasion, Chief Timipre Silver, stated that the drive for a cleaner environment is non-negotiable to sustain massive economic growth in Africa. The Hon. Minister who was represented at the event by the Chief of Staff to the Minister, Mr. Moses Olamide disclosed that the theme of the Conference is apt given its needed impact assessment regarding the effects of the Covid-19 on the African economy. He therefore urged stakeholders at the Conference to make good use of the Conference’s opportunities to discuss critical issues that will help improve the energy sector for economic growth. “I urge speakers and critical stakeholders at this conference to feel free to discuss these topical issues in detail and come up with feasible strategic ideas to assist in our quest for economic sustainability and growth for the energy sector in a post-Covid-19 world”.
The Nigerian Association of Energy Economics (NAEE) is a nationwide non-profit organization comprising of business, academic and other professionals committed to improve the economics of all the facets of petroleum and energy resources development and use. The association organizes conferences annually to create a platform for the exchanging of ideas, research advancement and professional experiences in energy economics in petroleum resources.

PTDF’s partnership with NAEE is hinged on the shared vision of capacity building for Energy Professionals in Nigeria, oil, gas and power and other disciplines that are interested in energy issues and PTDF has been committed to hosting the annual conference and providing other support to the Association.

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