July 23, 2024
Minister of State for Oil Senator Heineken Lokpobiri to Present Opportunities for Foreign Direct Investment in the Nigerian Upstream Sector at AEW 2023
– By Godswill Odiong

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Nigeria’s vast hydrocarbon resources, encompassing 200 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 37 billion barrels of oil reserves, represent a significant opportunity for the nation to optimize revenue generation, expand energy accessibility and drive industrialization, all while fostering employment creation and infrastructure development. Despite its status as one of Africa’s largest crude oil producers, Nigeria has experienced a decline in production across legacy fields, and as such, is inviting foreign investors and project developers to join the promising market, thereby triggering an energy transformation in Nigeria.

Pivotal to bolstering Nigeria’s oil production and ensuring the sustainability of the energy market are dedicated and seasoned industry leaders and policymakers. Specifically, Sen. Heineken Lokpobiri, Nigeria’s Minister of State for Oil, represents an instrumental figurehead in the country with a commitment to driving the country into a new era of energy and economic prosperity. During the continent’s biggest energy gathering, African Energy Week (AEW) – scheduled for October 16-20 in Cape Town – Sen. Lokpobiri will deliver a keynote address on the role Nigerian energy is poised to play in making energy poverty history in Africa.

Representing Africa’s premier energy event, AEW 2023 takes place under the theme, ‘The African Energy Renaissance: Prioritizing Energy Poverty, People, the Planet, Industrialization and Free Markets,’ and aligns closely with Sen. Lokpobiri’s objectives for Nigeria’s energy sector. During the event, Sen. Lokpobiri will engage in high-level panel discussions and exclusive networking sessions centered on Nigeria’s promising hydrocarbon opportunities. Sen. Lokpobiri will also lead Invest in Nigeria Energies at AEW 2023, connecting capital and technology to Nigerian projects.

Having been appointed Nigeria’s Minister of State for Oil by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu in 2023, Sen. Lokpobiri is dedicated to revitalizing the nation’s energy production. Leveraging a strong track record of spearheading dialogue and deals around sustainable development, Sen. Lokpobiri, who previously served as Nigeria’s Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development from 2015 to 2019, brings valuable experience to the AEW 2023 conference. His leadership will play a pivotal role in attracting new investors, strengthening existing partnerships with global energy stakeholders, and addressing critical industry challenges.

On the back of the Petroleum Industry Act, implemented in 2021 to catalyze industry growth, Sen. Lokpobiri brings a drive to bolster the competitiveness of the nation’s oil sector. His leadership aims to elevate production, expand domestic capacity, and ultimately accelerate Nigeria’s economic development. Currently, a number of projects are underway in the country that aim to position it as a regional hub. Upstream projects include field developments such as OML 13, Bongo North Field, Preowei Field, JK Field, HD Field and many more. Downstream, the 650,000 barrel per day Dangote Oil Refinery came online this year while projects such as the Trans-Niger Oil Pipeline and many more are poised to strengthen domestic refining capacity and regional distribution.

With an ambitious goal of lifting 86 million citizens out of energy poverty by efficiently exploiting domestic resources, Sen. Lokpobiri is well-positioned to spearhead the nation’s energy renaissance. As Nigeria aspires to become a top-ten global destination for energy investment, his stewardship will enhance the country’s appeal to international investors. Between 2023 and 2027, Nigeria is set to dominate Africa’s project portfolio, accounting for 23% of planned projects set to begin operations. Under Sen. Lokpobiri’s leadership, Nigeria’s pursuit of economic diversification through oil-generated revenue is set to be ushered in tangible results, while his participation at AEW 2023 will increase this project lineup considerably as new investment flows into the market.

“Nigeria’s oil resources not only represent an opportunity for the country to address its energy security concerns and economic diversification agenda but a chance to consolidate Africa’s position as an energy powerhouse. Sen. Heineken Lokpobiri is well-positioned to lead Nigeria into a new era of industry expansion. Under his leadership, the country is on course to attract new investors, boost production in marginal fields, unlock new reserves and enhance revenue generation while alleviating issues such as theft and aging infrastructure,” stated NJ Ayuk, the Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber (AEC).

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