‘Nigeria may lose out on $210 billion global bunkering industry’
The president of Bunker Traders Association of Nigeria, Sola Adewumi, has stated that Nigeria may lose out on the global bunkering industry estimated to hit $210 billion by 2027 if foreigners keep dominating the sector.
According to him, most of the bunkering activities are being carried out by foreigners because the funds dedicated for the purchase of equipment such as ship acquisition funds are not readily available.
He stated this during the Nigerian Content Midstream-Downstream Oil and Gas summit.
“Bunker business is so capital-intensive that Nigerian banks are not willing to support the operators in the industry,” he said.
He said Nigeria has a bad reputation as far as the bunkering business is concerned; adding that there are many unprofessional activities mostly centered on the quality of bunker delivery, which he said is rampant.
“Suffice to say that this is one of the reasons why our association was formed to put sanity into the supply chain,” he said.
Adewumi also lamented the regulatory activities by NIMASA, NPA, Nigerian Navy, saying that sometimes their activities have negative effects on bunkering operations in Nigeria.
“Bunkering business is a big business all over the world. The country has a lot to gain in terms of employment opportunities, and an increase in GDP. There is an urgent need to eliminate the activities of the unprofessional traders and suppliers to involve real operators in the official policies that will make Nigeria the bunkering hub of Africa,” he said.
On her part, the Managing Director, Techno Gas Limited, Nkechi Obi, decried the dwindling local consumption of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), also known as cooking gas, saying that more than half of the nation’s demand is currently being imported.
She said a lot of policies aimed at driving local patronage are not being implemented, calling on the need for the federal government to introduce a strong policy called cylinder exchange programme to deepen penetration of domestic LPG cylinders.
She however expressed doubts over the nation’s inability to reach the five million metric tonnes of domestic LPG utilisation target by the end of 2022.
“There has to be an intervention for the gas sector. Funds should come in like foreign exchange and not naira. We should be able to get funds through the I&E window. A whole lot of the cylinders come in from abroad. The domestic gas production is dropping because the pricing of gas is so high causing a demand distortion,” she said.
The General Manager, Research and Statistics, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Abdulmalik Halilu, while delivering his presentation on “Gas as a catalyst for sustainable economic development. The role of Nigerian content,” said gas is a developmental commodity and not a trading commodity, adding that the narrative is changing courtesy of the Federal Government’s decade of the gas initiative.
The Vice-Chancellor, Federal University of Petroleum University, Warri, Prof. Akpofure Rimi-Ruke, said the consumption of gas in the country is still very low, stating the need to get gas to where it is needed in the most seamless and effective means.
He noted that despite the network for gas distribution in the country, there are still challenges hindering effective distribution, calling on the need to mitigate the risk of transporting gas to promote and facilitate sustainable economic development in Nigeria and beyond.