Stakeholders Bullish on Nigeria’s Energy Investment Prospects

October 20, 2023
Energy Investment Prospects

By Adedapo Adesanya

The 2023 edition of the African Energy Week (AEW) conference and exhibition concluded in Cape Town, South Africa, on Thursday and for Nigeria, the conference provided a platform for top industry executives to promote energy investment prospects in Africa’s largest economy.

During the Invest in Nigeria Energies spotlight, moderated by Mr Mansur Mohammed, Head of West Africa Upstream Content, sub-Saharan Africa Oil and Gas, Wood Mackenzie, stakeholders from top companies examined the need to develop, exploit, and monetise Nigeria’s 37 billion barrels of crude and 200 trillion cubic feet of natural gas resources to ensure energy security and socioeconomic development.

Commenting on why Nigeria is an appealing energy investment destination, Mr Anim Osadebe John, Managing Director of Platform Petroleum Limited, said, “Nigeria has a lot of proven natural resources which remain untapped despite the country exploiting these resources for the past six decades. We have a growing population which makes the country a huge market to invest in.”

He added that Nigeria’s access to free markets such as Ghana, the Ivory Coast, and other international markets guarantees investors heavy profits.

Speaking on best practices to maximize existing opportunities while creating new ones, Mr Anthony Ellis, Commercial Director, Century Group said there is a need to develop new infrastructure and modernize existing assets.

Mr Ellis highlighted the importance of collaboration across the entire value chain. He said, “Capacity building needs to be prioritized by both the government and investors coming into the country.”

On her part, Mrs Ama Ikuru, General Manager, Capacity Building Division, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) noted that by boosting focus on local content development, Nigeria is unlocking avenues for best energy products and services and for new investments to flock in.

For Mr Bayo Adebiyi, Managing Director at Levene Energy Group, for Nigeria to attract new investments, players need to invest in the development of the country’s entire resources including oil, gas, and solar energy mix diversification.

“That is why we are investing in gas, energy decarbonization and across the midstream sector to ensure energy is delivered to consumers and that investors secure return on capital,” he said.

The panel also explored the impact of policies such as the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021 in creating investment opportunities.

Mr Adebiyi stated that the policy needs to be leveraged to create separate regulators for the downstream and midstream sector when speaking on additional changes that the Nigerian government need to apply to the PIA to enhance the law’s effectiveness in driving energy investments.

Mr Ope Osinubi, Senior Associate at Clifford Chance, said the PIA is a step in the right direction, adding that the policy has “given clarity to aspiring investors and guaranteeing stability for existing players. Great start, but more needs to be done.”

Mr Richard Kennedy, Chairman and Managing Director, Chevron Nigeria Limited, noted that Nigeria has a lot of potential with deepwater resources yet to be exploited.

“For oil and gas investments to grow and Nigeria to achieve market growth aspirations, deepwater discoveries will play a crucial role. There are a lot of discoveries, we just need the fiscal terms to be improved to unlock the potential,” he said.

Adedapo Adesanya

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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