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NAPE seeks establishment of energy bank



The National Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE) has called for the creation of a Special Energy Bank to finance oil and gas development projects.

NAPE made the call in a communique issued on Tuesday.

The communique, read Mr Kazeem Koleoso, was from the pre-conference workshop of

its ongoing 38th Annual International Conference and Exhibition in Lagos.

The conference has the theme: “Accelerating Growth in Nigeria’s Hydrocarbon Reserves: Emerging Concepts, Challenges and Opportunities.”

Expatiating on the need for the energy bank, Chief Tunde Afolabi, a former President of NAPE, said its setting up was vital to the development of the industry going forward.

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He said the bank could provide low-interest loans to operators in the sector which was very critical to Nigeria’s economy.

According to him, oil and gas companies account for between 19 and 25 per cent of loans owed commercial banks across the country.

“We need to have a bank like the Bank of Industry or Bank of Agriculture.

It will be beneficial to the sector because such a financial institution will understand the oil and gas business and its challenges.

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” It will be able to provide funding for oil and gas projects which the country currently needs “, Afolabi said.

He also called for proper legislation and management of the industry as well as massive investment in infrastructure to reduce the cost of doing business in Nigeria.

On his part, Mr Mele Kyari, Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), expressed optimism that the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) would be passed into law by mid 2021.

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Kyari said the bill,  which was now before the National Assembly, would be the key to a clear fiscal environment for Nigeria’s oil and gas industry.

He said achieving a $10 unit cost of production of crude oil was achievable by the end of 2021.

Kyari said it would shore up revenue accruing to government and increase the profit of oil firms.

He said the NNPC would reinforce efforts in gas development for local consumption and export, noting that gas would be a major player as nations transit to cleaner sources of energy.

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The NNPC boss noted that there were new opportunities in the industry despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, urging companies to key into them.

He said the companies need to cut cost, increase their revenue bases, enter into strategic partnerships and share resources in order to thrive during these challenging times. 

Edited By: Chinyere Elele-Bassey/Oluwole Sogunle
Source: NAN

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