By Ngozi Onyeakusi— The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, NCDMB, Simbi Wabote, has said that Africa’s industrialization agenda is at the heart of AFCFTA and fossil fuels remains a very significant part of the energy mix required for industrializing the continent.

Delivering the keynote address at the 9th Anniversary Lecture and Investiture into the Realnews of Fame Hall of Fame on Thursday in Lagos, Wabote said that revenues obtained from the sale of the hydrocarbon resources would remain “key drivers of the economies of the African oil and gas producing countries”.

He noted that the pull of investments on hydrocarbon development projects is indeed a challenge for oil producing countries such as Nigeria.

Speaking on resolving the impending challenge of investments in the oil and gas industry, Wabote said that the key areas of focus that could be used to address this challenge included the collaborative platform provided by AFCFTA to provide funding and the technology required to operate and develop hydrocarbon projects.

“The second is to have in place an investment-friendly law such as the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021. This will come in handy to attract much needed funds for project developments when the effect of the premature halting of new hydrocarbon projects lead to supply shortages with attendant unbearable price hikes,” he said.

According to him, there is the need to increase in-country hydrocarbon resource utilization. “For crude oil, this can be realized through massive refining and production of petrochemicals.

“In realization of the enormous prospects that gas holds as a cleaner, more efficient fuel in Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari declared year 2021 to 2031 as the Decade of Gas.

“As variously espoused by Mr. President and the Honorable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources at various fora, the future of Nigeria’s hydrocarbon industry is in GAS.

“Thus, I am extremely pleased that the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, under the sterling leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari and the Honorable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, have commenced implementation of several initiatives that seeks to develop the gas sector in line with the ‘’Decade of Gas’’ declaration.

“Construction works on NLNG Train-7 has commenced which will increase the current capacity of the plant by 30%. The 614km-long Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) gas pipeline under construction by NNPC is expected to transport 3.5bscf/day of gas,” he said.


He disclosed that other initiatives that have been put in place in line with the ‘’Decade of Gas’’ declaration includes the Nigeria Gas Flare Commercialization Program, NGFCP, and the Nigeria Gas Expansion Program, NGEP, aimed at deepening domestic utilization of LPG and Autogas.

On the developments at the NCDMB, Wabote said: “We are also pursuing various aspects of gas development and utilization programs to enhance delivery of government policy directives on gas. 59. 70% of our partnership investment programs are targeted towards gas development projects.

“In the last two and half years, we have commenced partnerships to deliver gas value-chain related projects as follows:

  1. Partnership with NEDO Gas Processing Company in Kwale, Delta State for the establishment of 80MMscfd of Gas Processing Plant and a 300MMscfd Kwale Gas Gathering hub.
  2. Partnership with Triansel Gas Limited for the construction of 5,000MT LPG Storage and Loading Terminal Facility in Koko, Delta State.
  3. Partnership with Duport Midstream for the construction of Energy Park inclusive of a modular refinery, power plant and 40MMscfd gas processing facility at Egbokor, Edo State.
  4. Partnership with Brass Fertiliser for the development of a 10,000MT/day Methanol Plant and 350MMscfd gas processing plant at Odiama in Brass.
  5. Partnership with Rungas Group for the manufacturing of 1.2million composite LPG cylinders every year in Bayelsa and Lagos States.
  6. Partnership with Butane Energy to deepen LPG utilization in the North with the roll-out of LPG bottling plants and depots in ten (10) Northern States of Kaduna, Bauchi, Katsina, Kano, Nasarawa, Niger, Plateau, Gombe, Zamfara, Jigawa and FCT Abuja.

He assured that AfCFTA holds a great promise for the economic growth and development of Nigeria and indeed other African countries and that “there is no doubt that the Nigerian oil and gas industry has a role to play in AfCFTA and urged all the key stakeholders in the oil and gas industry to align with the industry to better fit into the AfCFTA regime.