By Udeme AKPAN
WITH about 37 billion barrels of oil reserves and 192 trillion standard cubic feet of gas reserves, there is no doubt that Nigeria remains a major petroleum producing and exporting destination in the Gulf of Guinea. Investigations showed that a bulk of these endowments has not been developed for domestic application and export as a result of many factors, especially limited investment.
It is against this backdrop that the Federal Government’s planned Nigeria International Petroleum Summit, NIPS scheduled for Abuja from February 19 -23, 2018, becomes very relevant. Mr. James Shindi, the Project Director of the first edition of the Summit indicated in an interview that: ‘’As part of the on-going reforms in the sector and as a contribution to the Nigerian and African Oil and Gas Industry, the Federal Government took a formal position to stage an annual National Resource event with all the relevant government backing and which will create the perfect platform for cross pollination of ideas at the highest levels, networking, business and local content development, government to business, business to business, government to government and other linkages while promoting Nigeria as a business and tourism destination to the global energy community.
‘’The event will be run on a Public Private Partnership, PPP basis and be self-funding which explains why the government undertook an international competitive bidding process to select a partner to work with on terms, which the government set out. These are very strict terms but they ensure that the partnership works and all parties deliver on their roles and responsibilities.
‘’The government has demonstrated adequate commitment to this event. For instance, the Federal Executive Council has already granted approval for the event to take place. The government has also through the Vice president; Professor Yemi Osinbajo unveiled the event in the presence of 19 Ministers of Petroleum who attended the extra-ordinary meeting of the African Petroleum Producers’ Organisation (APPO) earlier this year.
‘’The support from the government has been fantastic. There are regular planning meetings, which involve all the government agencies under the Ministry, including the Nigerian national Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, Petroleum Equalisation Fund, PEF, Nigerian Content Development Monitoring Board, NCDMB, Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA, Petroleum Technology Development Fund, PTDF and Petroleum Technology Institute, PTI.
‘’There are also wider consultations with other agencies outside the Ministry of Petroleum to ensure that the event goes well. The government has also officially invited other governments to attend, including National Oil Companies from both the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC and non-OPEC member. The aim is to make this event a global reference point for energy related discourse globally.’’
This event seems to be too important for any stakeholder to miss out. Shindi pointed out, ‘’As Africa’s largest and most influential oil producer, Nigeria has continued to play a leading role in the global energy space and this event creates another outlet for Nigeria to lead the way in Africa’s response to the various challenges facing the oil and gas industry. The nation is blessed with huge oil and gas reserves, favourable policies and attractive incentives to attract and retain serious investors.
‘’From all indications, companies will get a unique opportunity to create business linkages, market their goods and services directly to decision makers from around the globe. It will also be an opportunity for companies to re-affirm their market presence and further demonstrate their commitment to the Nigerian and Africa’s oil and gas industry.
‘’From the government’s point of view, this event will enable them glean ideas and feedback from operators in the industry because the event is deliberately designed to be more than just another talk show. The aim is to discuss topical issue, offer recommendations which can be tracked so that in another 12 months when we gather again, it is easy to assess where we were back then, where we are at present and where we could likely be over short, medium and long term.’’
It is not only about the Summit. The exhibition also promises to be unique. The project director disclosed that: ‘’the global nature of the exhibition stands it out as unique in its own right. Furthermore, the oil and gas Industry is facing unique challenges today. Some of which haven’t been seen before. A lot of this exhibition will focus on technological breakthroughs and how current and future technologies can be used to deal with some of these challenges.
‘’In every country where oil and gas is produced, success of the industry or its failure has always been down to how strong partnerships develop and is maintained between the public and private sectors. This event has given both the public and private sectors an even deeper sense of working together and this confidence will only grow over time. There is absolutely no doubt that going forward, these partnerships will only deepen.
‘’The responses have been extremely positive and the feedback we are getting on a daily basis is very encouraging. Things can only get better now on. NIPS is going to be more than just another talk show. Recommendations from this event will be fed straight back into the government mechanisms and be tracked over the short, medium and long terms. Some of the key areas of focus will be the Niger Delta and Environment, present and future collaborations, current and future trends in the industry, including global policy shifts, Nigeria and Africa as emerging gas producers and technological breakthroughs, both for cost reduction, efficiencies and for lower emissions.
‘’Each state has the opportunity to have a state day in which they are able to highlight the business and tourism opportunities in their various states. We are expecting a good turnout of states and this includes both oil bearing and prospecting states. There will also be state booths and delegations from participating states. I think we will see the states at their finest during this event.”
‘’Brevity Anderson Consortium and the organising team of the NIPS 2018 will bring their experiences around the world to bear in packaging this event. Staging a world class event of this nature means that you have to pool the best local and international talents with years of experience in delivering similar events both in Nigeria and abroad. We are delighted to be working as a consortium with many important stakeholders.’’