President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dr. Nike Akande, at the weekend commended the Petroleum Downstream Group (PDG) for putting together its maiden edition of Business Clinic where issues involving investments and investors in the oil and gas sector was exhaustively discussed.
The event, held in Lagos had the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu as Guest Speaker while, Hon. Joseph Akinlaja of the Federal House of Representatives, Dr. Dapo Abiodun, Dr. Biodun Adedipe, Mr. Dolapo Oni, Mr. Muda Yusuf, the Director General of LCCI and Mr. Ken Abazie among others in attendance as discussants.
According to Akande, issues of survival strategies for the downstream operators at a time of profound economic challenges need great attention. She also commended the current discussions around resuscitation of refineries, passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill, oil price movements in the international market and the restoration of peace in the Niger Delta region as well as the on-going reforms in the oil & gas sector, which, she said were aimed at boosting investments for better performance of the Nigerian economy.
She noted that the evolving diversification of the economy to reduce the overdependence of the economy on oil has not diminished the importance of this critical sector in the economic and political life of Nigeria.
She said: â€œThis sector has good prospects to attract domestic and foreign investments, generate export revenues, taxes and royalties to government. The theme of todayâ€™s event â€˜Nigerian Economy in a Recession: Alternative strategies for the Petroleum Downstream Sectorâ€™, is apt and timely.
â€œIn the face of the evolving restructuring of the oil and gas sector in Nigeria and the call for new models of refineries, we call on government to ensure an appropriate regulatory environment for the private sector to drive investments and operations of the sector for optimal profitability. We reiterate our call for the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill to boost confidence and give direction in the sector for investors.
The modular refineries currently being proposed are expected to boost job creation and reduce our oil imports to conserve foreign exchange and reduce the security problems in Niger Delta.
â€œAt this first business clinic, we are privileged to have eminent resource persons to lead discussions on the survival strategies for the oil and gas sector. We also have active operators in the downstream sector to give their perspectives and recommendations.
â€œI congratulate the PDG for putting this event together and welcome all our guests to this event. Your presence underscores our collective commitment to tackling the challenges facing this critical sector of the Nigerian economy. Let us make the forum as interactive as possible so we can all leave here better informed.â€