Nigeria is racing against time in its effort to derive maximum value from its hydrocarbon resources and secure the country’s energy future, the Authority Chief Executive, Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, Farouk Ahmed, has said.

Speaking at the Nigeria International Energy Summit (NIES), in Abuja, Ahmed noted that Nigeria as a country, needs to vigorously contemplate its energy strategies, which is a key tool for economic liberation and national development taking into advisement the shift in demand and clamour for cleaner fuels.

He added: “It is imperative that going forward all stakeholders must deliberately adopt strategies that embolden and underpins these three core principles; Adoption of low carbon technologies across all operations in the oil and gas value chain, deepening and penetration of natural gas utilisation domestically to increase energy sufficiency and reduce energy poverty and invest conscientiously in cleaner fuels and renewables.”

He added that while reducing investment in hydrocarbon ventures may seem like the right incentive for energy transition, the current statistics indicate that this will not guarantee global energy security soon, especially as the world population increases vis a vis energy demands compared to renewable energy technologies’ maturation in terms of affordability and commerciality.

“It is, therefore, imperative that we all build a consensus to adopt a more inclusive approach that would consider all these variables,” he stated.

On its part, Ahmed disclosed that the NMDPRA will ensure that it creates an enabling environment for investments in the midstream and downstream space by creating numerous opportunities and enabling industry participants through its regulatory service instruments that are designed to ensure that businesses thrive with corresponding economic growth.

The NMDPRA helmsman whose keynote address was titled: ‘Revitalising the industry: future fuels and transition,’ said as the Chief Executive of the Authority, he is passionate about security, economic stability, growth, and sustainability of the Nigerian energy sector.

Ahmed said with enormous petroleum resources currently put at 37 billion barrels of crude oil reserves and 209.5 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of Natural Gas reserves as of January 2022, Nigeria is well-positioned to achieve its projected growth.

His words: “These resource size puts Nigeria at an enviable position within the comity of global hydrocarbon producers as even in this era of the global energy transition, the oil and gas sector remains pivotal to the Nigerian economy since it provides the needed cash flow for the functioning of other sectors of the economy but for how long?”

He maintained that as the world is gradually changing and steadily gravitating towards other energy sources with good reason as they are considered cleaner and contribute fewer greenhouse gases to the environment, there is a global outcry to end the use of fossil fuels to reduce global carbon dioxide emissions and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 but more collaboration is required to achieve sustainable outcomes.

He argued that the global oil industry is, therefore, urgently required to play critical roles in changing the narrative by reducing emissions that will invariably lower the global carbon footprint, sustain global energy security, and drive prosperity, especially in developing countries with population growth above the global average.