There has been an increase in supply of Natural gas into Nigeria’s domestic market, but there has been little progress by way of investment in “mega projects”, in the opinion of Bassey Albert Akpan, a ranking law maker in Nigeria’s Upper House of Legislature.
The Chairman, Committee on Gas Resources in the country’s Senate, argues that “the failure to enact the downstream Gas bill creates the perception that Nigeria’s doors are not sufficiently open for business”. Akpan contends that this particular lack, “advances the view that regulatory frame work remains unclear and inconsistent”.
In a position paper published in a forthcoming issue of Africa Oil+Gas Report, the Senator, representing Akwa Ibom State, one of Nigeria’s three largest hydrocarbon producing states, points to weak sector governance as a supporting pillar to the lack of an enabling gas bill.
“There has been limited capacity in key regulatory institutions, leading to overreaching and pseudo-regulation by other agencies, with policy initiatives being driven over the years by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) – Gas Aggregation Company of Nigeria (GACON) which oversees gas supply and pricing”.
Akpan says that the Senate “is making frantic effort to review the industry laws and appropriations” and ensure the sector is appropriately resourced.
Calling for an interim measure “pending the establishment of a substantive sector Regulator”, Akpan declares: “The activities of GACON are no longer relevant to the realities of what operators face in the industries”.
Senator Akpan’s full article can be read first in the February 2018 edition of the Africa Oil+Gas Report.