By Adedapo Adesanya
The National Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE) has called for the creation of a Special Energy Bank to finance petroleum exploration activities in the country.
This call was made by the president of the association, Mrs Patricia Ochogbu, during a panel session at the Association of Energy Correspondents of Nigeria (NAEC) 2021 Strategic International Conference on Tuesday in Lagos. The conference themed Petroleum Industry Act: Energy Transition and the Future of Nigeria’s Oil and Gas had robust discussions around the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) and the country’s energy transition plans.
Mrs Ochogbu noted that the PIA had set aside funds for exploration of frontier basins in the country, however, the money would not be available for private sector investors.
She said exploration activities take a long time to mature, which make commercial banks not favourably disposed to granting loans for such purposes.
She said: “We need to have a dedicated bank like the Bank of Industry (BOI) or Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM).
“They can grant loans for exploration activities at reduced interest rates. So, I believe energy bank is the way to go.”
Also speaking, the Conference Chairman, Mr Biodun Adesanya, lauded the setting aside of 30 per cent of the profit of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) for exploration activities in the frontier basins in the PIA.
Mr Adesanya said the discovery of oil and gas resources in other areas apart from the Niger Delta was a welcome development that should be pursued with vigour by the country.
He, however, called for the appointment of competent personnel to manage the sector, noting that this was the only way Nigerians could benefit from the country’s abundant oil and gas resources.
Also present at the event, Professor Emeritus of Petroleum Economics, Mrs Omowunmi Iledare, said effective implementation of the PIA was pivotal to the future of Nigeria’s oil and gas industry.She advised the government to collaborate with industry stakeholders and academia to work out modalities on how best to implement the Act. Heritage Bank Introduces Octiplus all-in-one Digital Banking App Standard Bank Chooses Flutterwave to Drive Digital Transformation Ecobank Enhances Productivity, Service Delivery With New Lagos Head Office