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Nigeria eyes more revenue, value from oil, gas

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•Seeks proper coordination, resources exploration
Although the oil and gas sector tops Nigeria’s revenue generation and export commodities, President Muhammadu Buhari may be pushing to aggressively harness more resources and derive value from the sector going by an order to relocate the sector’s regulatory body; the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to Abuja.

Buhari had approved the relocation of the agency late last year, and also granted approval to a new iconic office of the Department in Abuja’s Central Business District.

Nigeria has been struggling to boost revenue and export commodities from the non-oil sector, making the oil sector to play a dominant role despite global environmental concerns and turbulent outlook.

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The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, noted the need for holistic coordination of the sector to achieve the projected goals while laying the foundation for a new office of the DPR in Abuja.
He insisted that the government looks forward to an enabling environment to support oil and gas businesses across the value chain for operators, service providers, investors, relevant government agencies, international collaborators, and other stakeholders.

Coming a few days after President Buhari inaugurated the National Oil and Gas Excellence Centre (NOGEC), in Lagos, to boost operations in the petroleum sector, Sylva said the Federal Government was looking to a new DPR, “for the good of our stakeholders and the benefit of the Nigeria Oil and Gas industry.”

The Minister also said efforts are ongoing to ensure the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), amid the public hearing at the National Assembly, adding that the document could become a law in a few months.

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Director of DPR, Sarki Auwalu, said the Department is looking to provide necessary support for the administration’s drive to explore oil across the country, adding that the current activities across the inland basins would receive a boost with the relocation to the seat of power.

He said the prevailing efforts would support DPR’s commitment to enabling businesses and creating opportunities for the industry to thrive, using a robust regulatory framework and service instrument.

Noting that the Department remained the highest revenue generation agency in Nigeria, Auwalu insisted that it would create more value and help the country maximise more revenue from the sector.

Asked about the implications of relocating the DPR to Abuja away from the commercial hub of oil companies, he said: “That is the best for the sector that needs to really work closely with other stakeholders when they are in Abuja. We already have a mature basin in the Niger Delta, now we are looking at other basins which are better managed from this central position.

“The basic benefit is to come closer to the policy making decision. The Minister is here, the President is here, and the Parliament is here. So it is better that the highest revenue generating agency should be here.”

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