The Commission Chief Executive, Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), Engr. Gbenga Komolafe has said, the commission would remove all the regulatory bottlenecks to attract the needed investment into the oil and gas sector.
Engr. Komolafe spoke during the Industry Regulators’ Panel Session On Attracting Investment to Achieve National Energy Sufficiency at the just concluded 2023 Nigerian Oil and Gas (NOG) week in Abuja.
He announced to the investors at the conference that the period of regulatory uncertainty in the sector was over with the passage into law of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) by the last administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
He further disclosed that the Commission since its existence has rolled out regulations that are aimed at creating an enabling environment in the industry to attract investment.
“In the last few years, the energy resource map has significantly changed in Africa, and that itself means that the level of competitiveness has increased. By implication, a lot of countries that hitherto were not into oil production have made discoveries. It also means that Nigeria has to leverage its capacity in meeting up with the challenges of the competition.
“We will continue to provide more incentives, make regulations and create an enabling environment that would make Nigeria a favourable investment destination. That despite the competitiveness, Nigeria will still be ahead, leveraging capacity and huge oil and gas reserve base to tower above our competitors and able to optimise our hydrocarbon resources as a nation.
“In this respect, the Commission within its existence has rolled out regulations that are aimed at creating an enabling environment in the industry. We have done this in compliance with section 216 of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA). These regulations, we believe are enabling enough for the industry to leverage for investments to flow in.
“Of course, we know that the intent of the PIA was to create certainty. So also the regulations we have made. Because one of the things we believe attracts investors is when there is regulatory certainty. We understand that money will naturally gravitate to where there is regulatory certainty regardless of the competition and discoveries in other jurisdictions.
“Investment gravitated to other jurisdictions in a manner that we
lost almost 74% capex in the industry, however, the period of regulatory uncertainty in the industry is over. so investment is gradually flowing into the country”, he said.
On steps so far taken to address the issues of vandalism and oil theft leading to the Divestment of assets by IOCs, he said the government has been frontal in dealing with the issues by deploying a kinetic approach, however, the commission is using a non-kinetic approach like deployment of latest technologies to provide surveillance and monitoring.
“On transparent accounting, just yesterday the commission rolled out regulation on measurement. For the first time since the oil was discovered, we now have in Nigeria measurement regulation to monitor oil production on a real-time basis. We’ll ensure all the facilities are properly metered with the latest technology and do electronic integration of all the meters covering upstream activities”, he said.