The Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo said the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill, as well as Nigeria’s gas initiatives, will help transform Nigeria into a gas-based industrialized nation and also create a better-managed petroleum industry with more value addition for both investors and Nigerians alike.

Prof. Osinbajo stated this today when he delivered his remarks at a virtual event to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Sahara (Energy) Group.

Speaking on the gas initiatives being implemented by the Buhari administration, the Vice President said, “locally we launch into the brave new world for the oil and gas industry with the Petroleum Industry Act 2021. And this happily converges with the launch of the Year 2020 to 2030 as the ‘Decade of Gas Development for Nigeria’. This is a follow-up to the highly successful initiative of the Year 2020 as the Year of Gas.”

Last year November, the National Gas Expansion Programme was launched, which focuses on the distribution of Compressed Natural Gas and Liquefied Petroleum Gas across gas stations operated by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

Prof. Osinbajo added, “the main goal of the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill and the gas initiatives aforementioned is to transform Nigeria not only into a gas-based industrialized nation through enhanced accelerated gas revolution, but also to help create a better-managed petroleum industry where both the people of Nigeria and investors alike can extract value.

According to the Vice President, the next 25 years will be defining for the energy industry.

Commending Sahara Group for being “a great ambassador for the Nigerian entrepreneurial brand,” the VP noted that the group has demonstrated “bold, innovative, knowledge-driven business models that are designed to seize opportunities in other countries and have done so with remarkable success in many African countries.”

The Vice President, again reiterated the need for a just transition to zero-emission, as well as more advocacy to stop the defunding of gas and fossil fuel projects in developing countries

The VP disclosed that while the Federal Government is building coalitions with other affected countries to urge a just transition as we advance to zero transmission, “I will urge indigenous energy companies such as yourselves to join in the urgent advocacy that is required to prevent the disaster that would result from defunding oil and gas projects.”

Prof. Osinbajo noted that the last two decades have brought significant growth of Nigerian oil companies “from the days when Nigerian companies were mainly invested in the downstream sector to a situation now where we have Nigerian companies in the downstream, midstream and the upstream.”

“Nigerian companies have shown capacity in operations and financing of oil and gas assets. Within this group of patriotic local investors, Sahara has consistently blazed the trail as industry leaders in not just the Petroleum sector, but in the Power sector as well,” he added.

Other speakers at the event included the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mr. Felix Tshisekedi and President of the African Development Bank, Dr Akinwumi Adesina; while guests included the Director-General of Bureau of Public Enterprises, Mr Alex Okoh, and other top government officials.