Following the implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) in 2021, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) transformed into a limited liability company, emerging as one of the biggest energy companies in Africa. Speaking in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday, NNPC Chairman, Senator Margery Chuba-Okadigbo, shared insight into the company’s future, highlighting how the PIA has improved the country’s investment attractiveness.
For its part, the NNPC has set forward a strong agenda centered largely around partnerships and diversification.
Since the implementation of the PIA, the company has been aggressive in its approach to expanding the domestic and regional energy sector, with a number of large-scale projects currently underway that are set to improve energy security and industrialization.
“I see the NNPC as the future, not just for Nigeria and Africa but on a global scale. We had the PIA passed in 2021. What it will do and is doing is give a legal framework and a way of doing business. The PIA is the constitution of the Nigerian oil industry. If you go with the PIA, you cannot go wrong,” Senator Chuba-Okadigbo stated.
Part of the NNPC’s new agenda is the development of a strong domestic gas market. Currently, Nigeria’s proven gas reserves sit at 200 trillion cubic feet (tcf), with opportunities to increase this figure to up to 600 tcf with the commencement of new exploration and production projects. For Nigeria, unlocking the true potential of the gas sector could bring about new opportunities for job creation, industrialization and wider socioeconomic growth while for Africa as a whole, bring online new gas supplies at a time when global demand continues to rise and population growth accelerates.
According to Senator Chuba-Okadigbo, “We are a diversified energy company and do both oil and gas. We do have plans to shore up our gas infrastructure and production because we are a gas rich nation and intend to have that as part of our transition. The gas development is something we are looking at doing and we have a lot of projects ongoing including the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano Natural Gas Pipeline; the Trans-Saharan Gas Pipeline and many more. It is not just for Africa; we are hoping to tap into Europe.”
Despite the potential economic opportunities leveraging gas will bring, global pressures continue to mount regarding the energy transition. On this topic, Senator Chuba-Okadigbo stated that, “There is so much pressure on Africa to catch up but we also have to remember that we have our own shortcomings when it comes to energy. Nigeria and Africa still have poverty in energy so we have a long way to catch up and it is not fair to expect Africa to be on the same pedestal as the rest of the world. As discourse progresses, the rest of the world will see that Africa needs time to catch up. It is time to look beyond Europe and to Africa. In this regard, Nigeria is key because we have a lot of gas reserves and we are expecting to see a lot more investors to come into the country.”
Meanwhile, in addition to its abundant gas reserves, with the implementation of the PIA, Nigeria has become an increasingly more attractive investment destination for both regional and global financiers.
“It is time to look beyond Europe and to Africa. In this regard, Nigeria is key because we have a lot of gas reserves and we are expecting to see a lot more investors to come into the country. One of the enablers is the PIA. The PIA is straightforward in terms of what it expects and what you can expect from Nigeria. Investing is easier and are a win-win for everybody,” Senator Chuba-Okadigbo stated, adding that, “Nigeria is looking for investors and for people who want to partner with us. The NNPC we have is the NNPC you would like to do business with because we are the energy company of the future.”