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Energy Sustainability Creates $575bn Investment Opportunities For Nigeria – NMDPRA

By Patience Chat Moses

The Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority has said that over $575 billion capital investment opportunities could be created for Nigeria through its Industry Sustainability Initiative

The Authority’s Executive Director Health, Safety, Environment and Community (HSEC), Mustapha Lamorde, who made this known, said the investment opportunities, would be created through decarbonisation of operations, infrastructure and technological development, green economy improvement, stakeholder management and human capital development.

Lamorde spoke on the sideline of the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2023 (COP28) in Dubai, where the Authority hosted a panel session on Nigeria’s Pathway to Energy Sustainability and the Role of NMDPRA.

On the panel was the Executive Secretary of the African Refiners & Distributors Association (ARDA), Anibor Kragha, Mansur Kuliya Alkali, Authority’s Executive Director, Midstream and Downstream Gas Infrastructure Fund (MDGIF), Mansur Kuliya Alkali and the Senior Technical Adviser on Transition Energy to the Minister of state, Petroleum Resources (Gas), Abel Nsa.

The session, moderated by the Technical Advisor on Health, Safety, Environment and Community to the Authority chief executive, Steve Odafe Jerome, explained Nigeria’s journey towards reducing carbon emission in the mid and downstream oil and gas sector and achieving Net Zero by 2060.

Lamorde spoke on NMDPRA’s  Industry Sustainability Initiative (NISI) created in line with the Global Sustainability Development Goals, geared towards achieving Nigeria’s 2060 Net Zero commitment in the midstream and downstream petroleum industry.

A breakdown of the investment opportunities highlighted sector by sector by Lamorde are; $272 billion in power, $127bn in infrastructure, $96 billion in oil and gas processing optimisation, $80bn in industry and $2.8 billion in clean cooking.

He said achieving this requires strong government commitment and collaboration with the private sector using technological innovation.

In support, Anibor Kragha said NMDPRA and the Nigerian government should harness funding opportunities for gas projects from international financiers dealing with agriculture as gas plays a key role in the sector.

He urged  NMDPRA as the regulator of the Midstream and Downstream industry to develop a decade-by-decade plan to decarbonize the mid/downstream with bankable projects that would elicit finance from foreign donor agencies.

Anibor  also emphasized the importance of developing and including young people in the decarbonization drive as they will play a major role in implementing these initiatives in the future.

In his contributions, Alkali explained that the Midstream and Downstream Gas Infrastructure Fund (MDGIF), set up in pursuant of section 52 of the Petroleum Industry Act is pivotal towards accelerating investments along the gas value chain.

He clarified that the MDGIF was neither a grant nor a loan, but rather an investment initiative designed to derisk investments through partnerships with private sector players to build the necessary infrastructure to harness the country’s vast gas resources.

Similarly, Abel Nsa, said the Host Community Development Framework as launched by the commission for upstream operations amongst other benefits would ensure oil and gas assets are adequately protected to ensure uninterrupted production and supply which is critical to midstream operations.

He added that the Decade of Gas initiative of the government will also guarantee the availability of gas for domestic utility. He said discussions are currently ongoing with upstream gas producers to deliver on the mandate.

All the panelists agreed that Nigeria’s future lies in increasing its cleaner energy capacity and attracting the right global and domestic finance to critical energy projects.