On May 11, billionaire industrialist Tony Elumelu shared his thoughts on Nigeria’s oil and gas sector in a series of tweets from his official Twitter account. Elumelu was reflecting on his participation at the 2023 Annual Value Assurance Review (AVAR) session organized by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited Upstream Investments Management Services (NUIMS). During the event, Elumelu stressed the need for monitoring, accountability, and technological advancement to increase the sector’s capacity.
Elumelu acknowledged that the private sector could play a significant role in developing local capacity for Nigeria’s oil and gas sector, which could help to improve its performance. He also stated that he was ready to contribute towards developing local capacities and driving investment in the sector, provided that the right enabling environment for Nigerian businesses is put in place.
However, data from the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) revealed that Nigeria’s crude oil production for April 2023 was 999,000 barrels per day, the lowest recorded since the beginning of the year. Elumelu pointed out that certain governance structures and technological advancements must be incorporated to enable higher private sector investments in the sector. He emphasized the importance of clear governance structures that institutionalize monitoring, feedback, and accountability of operators in the oil and gas sector, while also advocating for the adoption of technology to build local capacity in the industry.
Mele Kyari, the Group Chief Executive Officer of the NNPCL, stated that the growth of Nigeria’s upstream sector is hampered by issues ranging from security to the reluctance of financial institutions to fund projects. According to Kyari, the upstream sector’s inability to support other sectors of the economy has resulted in a cash crunch in the country.