Leading indigenous Oil and Gas engineering, procurement, construction, and Commissioning (EPCC) Company, Nestoil Group, has demanded that the Federal Government grant full liberty to oil and gas firms to operate a free market system in the industry.
This, Nestoil said, would provide an unrestricted market where the market forces will naturally control the price of gas in such a manner that will be optimally beneficial to the economy.
Ernest Azudialu-Obiejesi, Group Managing Director of Nestoil, made the demand when he was invited as the guest speaker at the Nigerian Oil and Gas Summit which recently held in Abuja.
Azudialu-Obiejesi also lamented the Government’s inability to find meaningful solutions to Nigeria’s power crises. The Nestoil boss described as “unfortunate” South Africa’s intimidating capacity to generate over 40,000 megawatts of power, which easily dwarfed Nigeria’s meagre 4,000 megawatts.
Note that Nigeria struggles to meet its electricity needs despite having the reputation as owner of the ninth-largest proven gas reserves in the world.
Azudialu-Obiejesi went further to point out that South Africa was able to solve its power problem even though it was in no way close to Nigeria as far as potential for power generation was concerned. The GMD of Nestoil noted that South Africa had been able to produce 40,000 megawatts for the benefit of her 57 million population whereas Nigeria had been grossly inadequate in this obligation to her own citizens.
Power Crisis Will Worsen: The Nestoil Chief foretold a gloomy future for the power sector if the government fails to take productive measures that would allow the forces of demand and supply dictate costs.
Key investment driver revealed: The Nestoil said a situation whereby a willing seller finds a willing buyer and which enables gas producers to sell their products to off-takers at affordable rates will stimulate investment in the sector. The deregulation of the telecoms sector which resulted in the explosive transformation of the economy was cited by the Nestoil GMD as a path government should tow as regards the gas sector.
In the meantime, the Nestoil GMD affirmed that crude oil would continue to decline in relevance globally. He said the current trend suggested that there was a preference for gas over oil as a viable energy option which the world had embraced. Besides, gas is concerned to be cleaner and environmentally friendlier as an energy source than oil.
“Many countries in Europe are at the forefront of this energy revolution, and with time, African countries, including Nigeria will be dragged along. It is time now to embrace a paradigm shift, and change Nigeria’s energy focus squarely from crude oil to gas.”
It should be noted that this is not the first time Nestoil Group will be making a demand of the Federal Government. In September 2018, Dr Azudialu-Obiejesi told the Federal Government that it was high time to increase the number of pipelines in Nigeria. It is unclear of the Federal Government ever acted on that.