The president of the Senate, Dr Godswill Akpabio, says with careful planning and execution, Nigeria can meet the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) quota of 1.8 million barrels per day.
Akpabio spoke at the National Assembly Capacity Building Workshop organised by the Independent Petroleum Producers Group (IPPG) and the Oil Producers Trade Section (OPTS) on Monday in Abuja.
Represented by Senate Committee Chairman, Petroleum Upstream, Etang Williams, he expressed satisfaction that the crude oil output hit 1.35 million barrels per day in September.
This, he said, was 14 per cent higher than the figure for August and the highest figure so far in 2023.
He said the determination and effort of the Federal Government yielded this dividend and had given hope that Nigeria could attain the OPEC quota with careful planning.
He was optimistic that the engagement between the National Assembly and key oil and gas industry players would help Nigeria to move on a path that would bring progress and development to the citizens.
“The oil has not been as much as a blessing as it ought to be. In fact, some think it has become a curse because the proceeds from the oil are not utilised to support agricultural and manufacturing sectors.
“These sectors have been neglected; we do not have the groundnut pyramids in the North anymore, we do not have the cocoa house in the West anymore, we do not have the palm plantation in the East anymore.
“We now have a resource cost or paradox of plenty.
“A resource cost is a situation in which nations fail to use their wealth to improve the living condition of their people and foster their economy,” he said.
The president of the Senate said this was one of the reasons the Bola Tinubu administration had to do away with the petroleum subsidy, which had destroyed the nation’s economy by installments.
“We need bold action to address big problem, it is a story we in the National Assembly want to change for the sake of our country and posterity,” he added.
Mr Osten Olorunsolasaid, Chairman, Energy Institute, Nigeria said oil theft and sabotage seemed to be visible reasons for Nigeria’s oil production decline, though there were others.
In his address tagged, “PIA-Optimising Value for the Country,” he said the decline led to sharp decline to export earnings.
According to him, after two years of PIA implementation there should be proper review, implementation framework and roadmap for strategic response.
In an overview of the Decade of Gas programme, Mr Nathaniel Oyatogun of OPTS Gas Subcommittee, said significant pipelines infrastructural development like the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) Natural Gas Pipeline were required to fulfil the Decade of Gas.
He listed three interventions required to secure the programme, which included guaranteeing attractive reforms, enabling investment by supper infrastructure and creating investor’s confidence.