By Ikenna Omeje
In line with the global agenda for energy transition, and to remain relevant in the energy space, the Federal Government of Nigeria has renamed the Nigeria International Petroleum Summit (NIPS) to Nigeria International Energy Summit (NIES).
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, disclosed this at the closing ceremony of the just concluded 2021 NIPS, which held in Abuja, with the theme, “From Crisis to Opportunity: New approaches to the future of hydrocarbons.”
Sylva said, “In the spirit of the global agenda for energy transition, and the need for us to remain relevant and ahead, the Nigeria International Petroleum Summit quietly did a rebirth. From this moment, it will be known as Nigeria International Energy Summit.”
NIPS was conceived in 2016 by President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, with the objective to be the pre-eminent oil and gas industry event by Nigeria for Africa and global oil and gas industry.
The Minister said that NIPS 2021, which was well attended by oil and gas industry stakeholders, was the first industry event of that magnitude to be held physically in any part of the world.
“Few days after the closing ceremony of the 2020 Nigeria International Petroleum Summit, Nigeria and the rest of the world went into lockdown. Looking back, I still marvel at the sequence of events, and the fact that NIPS 2020 happened at all. But this year, I must confess that going ahead with the preparation despite the uncertainty, with the demostration of faith by the entire team behind the event, this is the first industry event of this magnitude to be held physically in any part of the world. It’s a clear testament of the hand of God, an evidence that Nigeria International Petroleum Summit is indeed God’s own event,” he said.
Sylva noted that the 2021 NIPS was a clear demostration of the resilience of the Nigeria’s energy industry, notwithstanding the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said,”It has indeed been an intensive 4-day of agenda setting for new approaches for the future of hydrocarbons, not just for Nigeria, but African region as a whole.”
Sylva recalled that during NIPS 2020, Waltersmith refinery was a mere projection, the Final Investment Decision (FID) for the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Train 7 was only mentioned, while commencement of the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano gas pipeline was still in the pipeline. He, however, said that at NIPS 2021, they were celebrated as realities.
He expressed joy over the acknowledgement by industry stakeholders at the event that the Decade of Gas vision of the current administration is not just practicable, but a sure way to leverage on vast natural gas resources that the country has to put Nigeria in the league of industrialized nations in the next 10 years, and urged stakeholders not to derail the vision.
“It is indeed a demonstration of how far we can go as a country with the type of a focused leadership President Mihammadu Buhari reiterated.
“The icing on the cake for me at this year’s summit is the affirmation by industry stakeholders that this administration’s Decade of Gas vision is not only practicable, but a sure way of using the country’s vast natural gas resources to put Nigeria in the league of top industrialized nations over the next decade. We must not derail this vision,” he noted.
Sylva thanked Buhari for his support, the Federal Capital Territory administration and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) for their supports and co-operation to ensure that all the Covid-19 protocols were put in place and followed to the latter at the event. He also appreciated the event sponsors, delegates, as well as the keynote speakers and the panelists for sharing their valuable knowledge and experience.