World News

FG courts IOCs for increased investment in oil sector

The Federal Government yesterday raised hope for more investment in the upstream sector of the nation’s petroleum industry just as it reiterated that there would be no increase in the price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) as Nigerians prepare for the festive season.

The declining investment in the nation’s oil sector is seen as a great challenge for the implementation of the 2022 budget amidst borrowing and huge debt servicing.

Already, Nigeria has lost its first place position in oil production to Libya as crude oil production falls to 1.2 million barrels per day against 1.6 million projected in the 2022 budget.

On another hand, subsidy payment on PMS is worsening the financial burden of the country as imminent challenges have already started fueling scarcity of the commodity across the country.

However, government insisted yesterday that there would be no increase in the pump price of petrol. Speaking yesterday at the first Golf Invitational Tournament of the Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission (NURC) and the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), the Chief Executive of NURC, Gbenga Komolafe said International Oil Companies and the Independent Operators in the country are looking to double their investment.

With some companies already planning divestment from the country or some of their portfolios, Komolafe, who noted that golf is being used to unite the sector said government engagement with the operators is yielding positive results.

Coming in the face of earlier commitment from COP26 to reduce fossil fuel footprint, Komolafe said the engagement with the investors has been positive.

“The feedback we’re getting from the engagement has been quite positive. Regardless of the developments in the outside world, especially as it relates to energy transition, we’ve been trying to balance that with the fact that PIA has offered very robust fiscal incentives for investment,” he said.

Chief Executive Officer of NMDPRA, Farouk Ahmed noted that government would ensure seamless supply of petroleum products and would not increase the pump price.

Represented by the authority’s Executive Director, Distribution System, Storage and Retail Infrastructure, Ogbugo Ukoha, Ahmed said: “There will be no increase in the price of PMS.”

According to him, while the PIA had envisaged a liberalised market, government won’t increase pump price arbitrarily as consumption peaks ahead of the Christmas season. “So the pump price will be maintained and Nigerians will feel free to travel,” he said.