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Nigerians take centre-stage in downstream sector – DPR

Adewale Nurudeen

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Nigerians take centre-stage in downstream sector - DPR

Sarki Auwalu, Director, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), has said Nigerian indigenous oil companies are now taking the centre stage, in expanding domestic refining, domgas supply, and gas-based industrialisation, which is a gradual departure from the export-centric companies.

Auwalu made the assertion at the Nigeria Oil and Gas (NOG) virtual conference, in a statement issued, by Head Public Affairs, DPR, Paul Osu, in Lagos, as he emphasised the need to build credible and competent indigenous capacity in the industry that would compete favourably with international counterparts.

The DPR director said deliberate policies that promote indigenous capacity should be continued for overall economic stability.

“Part of government efforts in this regard is the ongoing marginal field bid round which is aimed at deepening indigenous participation in Exploration and Production,” the DPR director said.

According to him, it is expected that with the imminent conclusion of the award process, the share of indigenous companies in reserves and production will improve as the fields are developed.

Speaking on other developments in the industry, Auwalu noted that Nigeria’s oil and gas industry needed fortification in five key areas to support national economic stability, robustness, and resilience.

He said the theme of the conference, ‘Fortifying the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry for Economic Stability and Growth’ was apt because of the sector’s importance to the nation’s economy.

“For us at the DPR, we contemplate five broad areas in which the industry needs fortification to support national economic stability, robustness, and resilience.

“These areas are legal, institutional, financial, in-sector diversification, and indigenous capacity.

“And I dare say that under the focused leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, the key fundamentals for industry growth is being emplaced.

“By the same token, the regulatory institution should be structured to streamline roles, prevent duplication, and promote consolidation which will engender regulatory clarity and ease of doing business.

“Further, the overall Industry financial position must necessarily improve for sustainability.”