By Ngozi Amuche
Chairman of Ghana National Petroleum Corporation Prof Wunmi Iledare, has warned that Nigeria must transit from energy production to that ofconsumption in order to maximise the country’s oil and gas potentials for development that will impact on the people.
Prof Iledare who observed that although efforts at replacing oil with alternative energy sources have been growing, Nigeria still has the chance to stir economic growth in the few decades remaining before the replacement of fossil fuel as main source of global energy.
Speaking at a stakeholders’ engagement on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), held at the Ibom Hotel and Golf Resort, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, the professor of Petroleum Economics charged the National Assembly to fashion PIB capable of transforming Nigeria to an energy consumer by encouraging the maximization of the value chain.
“Nigeria must move away from the thinking that emphasizes energy production and move towards the economically impactful paradigm of energy consumption. It is energy consumption that will ensure the country grows its economy through value chainmaximization,” he stated.
Citing the example of Dubai, United Arab Emirates, which he said was a mere desert in theearly 1980s, he said the country has wasted years through emphasis on oil rent and revenuesharing, stressing that the PIB must be deliberate in its national development purpose.
“I have not seen an economy that develops that is not a huge consumer of energy,” Prof. Ilebare said and called on all the labour unions in the oil and gas industry to begin to think beyond their immediate personal gains and work towards the maximization of the opportunities that are possible for the collective prosperity of the nation.
He said the challenges of restiveness and poor development of the country’s oil belt of the Niger Delta can be solved through the PIB, if the government will sincerely work towards opening up investment opportunities in the oil and gas value chain close to the sources.