Whilst closing the 3rd Nigeria International Petroleum Summit (NIPS) just held in Abuja and the Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva was asked of his recipe for the development of Niger Delta where the bulk of Oil and Gas revenue to the nation was derived, he said many development agencies were deployed to attend to the Niger Delta development challenges in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NNDC); 13% Derivation; Amnesty Programme; Ministry of Niger Delta Development and others. He declared his belief that what is needed in Niger Delta however, is industrialization through which the people will be developed. He also charged those who reserve militancy as their strategy for agitation for development of Niger Delta to change their tactics. “Development of Niger Delta region can only come when there is peace”, Sylva charged.
The Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources further said: “With the renewed commitment of government to ensure availability of power; plugging of revenue leakages and judicious usage of available resources as are being done by the present crop of persons in the nation’s administration, development is being consciously and vigorously brought to all parts of Nigeria.” Chief Sylva however cautioned persons who are fond of giving negative narrations about Nigeria especially through the media to desist as this affects the nation’s prospect to secure international capital for industrialization and development. The Honourable Minister puts it this way: Nigerians have technical capability as we can see through this Summit; what we don’t have is the capital. Those who are fond of portraying our nation as very corrupt, as if there is no corruption of the magnitude in Nigeria and who are also threatening crisis as their mode of agitation for development, should note that no investor would want to invest where there is no peace and their investments would not be safe.
Chief Timipre Sylva further said that the recommendations from the Summit are vital not just for policy formulation but also for further development of Oil and Gas industry in Nigeria. He assured that he will ensure that “The Summit recommendations will be placed high for implementation.”
The Honourable Minister of State said that the huge number of delegations to the Summit and the enthusiastic submissions of panellists in 3rd NIPS demonstrate what can be unleashed when there is active collaboration between the government and the private sector to make progress. With the enthusiasm demonstrated at looking at all issues ranging from technology, business models, policy environment and international outlook of Oil and Gas vis-a-vis the Nigeria’s way of attending to them, Sylva assured that “We will fast track all the accepted recommendations from this summit and place it high for implementation.”
Chief Timipre Sylva also said that the launch of the Nigeria Gas Transportation Code as well as the signing of $1.16M US Grant for Gas-fired Abuja Power Plant, all done at the Summit demonstrate the commitment of President Buhari’s Administration in line with the Next Level Agenda to industrialise the nation. The Minister of State declared his belief that it is when attention is given to industrialization that the people can truly be developed.
Report by Kania Maliki, Asst. Director of Information, with additional report and editing by Olujimi Oyetomi, Head of Press, Ministry of Petroleum Resources.