President of NAPE, Mr. Abiodun Adesanya, gave the advice at a media briefing to announce the 35th Annual International Conference and Exhibition of the association with the theme “A Roadmap for Nigeria’s Oil and Gas Industry in a Diversifying Economy”.
He explained that NAPE believes that to build a more diversified and more resilient economy, the country must take steps to finding and enhancing new opportunities while prudently allocating its revenue which comes mainly from oil and gas.
To buttress his claim, Adesanya alluded to a recent International Monetary Fund (IMF) report which indicated that a diversified economy based on several sources of income was more resilient and able to recover faster from different shocks as any weakness in any particular sector can be mitigated through the strong performance in other sectors.
The NAPE boss was worried that Nigeria currently maintains an economically unstable negative net energy trade balance in which it exports virtually all the crude oil produced and imports a substantial part of its refined petroleum products needs while under-utilizing other energy sources such as bitumen, coal, lignite, and shale oil, thereby leading to a mono commodity economy that is largely dependent on crude oil export.
He noted that, against the backdrop of low oil price, dwindling oil revenue, there have been strident calls for the nation to diversify its economy from the monolithic oil dependency oil into other areas to sustain the nation in terms of revenue generation
‘‘The inevitable slowing down of the economy occasioned by the adverse crude oil prices regime still persists. Before Nigeria officially acknowledged we are in a recession, low oil prices had resulted in the slowdown in projects as well as the stoppage of exploration activities in some fields.
In the upstream, there had been a sharp cut-back in projects with companies instead, focusing on short term activities and production sustenance.
Successive administrations have enunciated economic policies and strategies on how to diversify the nation’s economy from oil to other sectors like agriculture, mining and tourism,’’ he said.
According to him, the Nigerian economy has not diversified at the anticipated rate while contributions from non-oil sector still remains low, stating that signs of improvement have begun to show.
Although, he admitted that significant achievements have been recorded in the management of Nigeria’s oil and gas resources compared to recent past.
On the Conference, he stated that the gathering of experts will throw its searchlight on survival strategies for petroleum exploration and exploitation in a challenging environment and also examine the effectiveness in the existing policies to drive growth in the oil and gas industry so as to come up with initiatives for the development of road maps and new policy initiatives.
As a prelude to the conference, a Pre-Conference workshop with the theme, “Transforming Nigeria’s Oil and Gas Industry to Meet Global Demand-Supply Realities” will feature several speakers of high repute, including the Keynote paper to be delivered by Dr. Emmanuel Egbogah, Chairman Emerald Energy Resources and former Presidential Adviser on Petroleum matters.
Lead Speakers include: Mr. Osagie Okunbor, Managing Director, SPDC and Chairman of Shell Companies in Nigeria; Mr. Austin Avuru, Chief Executive Officer, Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc. and Mr. Nicholas Terraz, Managing Director/ Chief Executive, Total E&P Nigeria.
The event will also feature a Panel of discussants, including Mr. Funsho kupolokun, former Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC); Mr. Lai Fatona, Managing Director, Niger Delta Exploration & Production Plc.; Mr. Razak Shittu, General Manager , UBA Energy Bank; and Mr. Anibor kragha, Chief Operating Officer, Refineries, NNPC.
The Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE) is the umbrella association for persons involved in the professional application of geosciences and related disciplines to the exploration and production of oil and gas in the country.
It has over 10,000 strong individual and 50 corporate membership which cuts across the oil & gas industry. Founded in 1975, the association’s flagship Annual International Conference and Exhibition holds every year.