Aregbesola decries dominance of foreigners in oil and gas sector
*Wants more local content
Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, has called on Nigerians to take ownership and fully domesticate every aspect of the oil and gas industry in the country.
He said it is the time for indigenous companies to begin investing in acquisitions, technology, processing and research in all aspects of petroleum, currently dominated by foreign firms.
The minister gave the charge at the 2023 Nigerian Oil and Gas Opportunity Fair, held at the Nigerian Content Tower Conference and Exhibition Centre, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
According to a communique signed by his Media Adviser, Sola Fasute, he said the industry as the mainstay of the nation’s economy needs domestication to ward off the dependency syndrome and allow locals be on the driver’s seat of their local economy.
Noting that foreign investors are also key players that must be attracted to aid results and boost returns, Aregbesola opined that research into petroleum utilisation and maximization should also be encouraged by indigenous companies to generate the knowledge base for the country’s specific needs in the sector.
He also stressed the need for Nigeria to adapt a 25-year alternative power template, that would be driven by gas, so as not to be stampeded by the electric motor transition of the West.
“We should not only take our own destiny in our hands, we should dominate the oil and gas market in sub-Saharan Africa.
“We should be able to supply refined petroleum products to our immediate neighbours and other African countries. We should also leverage on gas to produce electricity for domestic consumption and export. We will be making 10 times revenue on finished products than on primary products, which will create more wealth and prosperity for the nation.
“As the world begins a transition to electric motor vehicles, Nigeria should adopt gas as the transition energy for the next 25 years, and not be stampeded by the West into the electric car bandwagon.
“We should convert the existing motor vehicles to be using gas, which we have in abundant supply. Nigeria has about the third largest natural gas reserve in the world. We should take maximum advantage of it for our national interest,” he urges.