Mkpoikana Udoma 28 June 2017, Sweetrude, Port Harcourt – An aspiring national president of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staph association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, Mr. Sale Abdullahi, has said that the way forward for Nigeria’s oil and gas sector is to have a road map not just in tapping the potentials in the sector but to allow for diversification into other areas.
Abdullahi, who disclosed this while briefing newsmen at the Port Harcourt Refining Company in Eleme, said the road map is important especially with increase thirst for cleaner energy which was fast making oil irrelevant in the global sphere.
He said his policy thrust, if he emerges the national president of PENGASSAN today, 29th of June, is to run a union that would not just focused on members’ welfare but also on the oil business.
Abdullahi, who is presently the Group Chairman, PENGASSAN, NNPC, said his primary aim is to ensure that all the plants in the country are up and running, because it is only when the plants are running that he would be able to carter for the welfare of his members.
“Yes, the sector has numerous challenges, the way forward is to come up with a roadmap on what exactly we want to achieve in the oil and gas industry. And also to move away from oil and gas.
“We have to look at capacity building in other areas and we thought that the PIGB which as contemplated is going to bring some life into those areas that we foresee our challenges.
“Other countries have sat down to put in place a piece of legislation that could help them not just in achieving or tapping the potentials in oil and gas but equally allow them to diversify into other areas. This is what we have not done at the moment. Therefore a roadmap is important and we need to have it urgently.”
Abdullahi, who is also the PENGASSAN Chairman, NAPIMS branch, explained that the concept of modular refineries was good, but not the final solutions as it will not be able to meet the petroleum demand of the country which he said is 40 miilion litres per day.
“Modular refineries are quick ways to get products available to Nigerians, but in the real sense they are not the final solutions because they are not going to take us to where we want to be.
“Our national demand on a daily basis is within the range of 40 million litres, which modular refineries cannot provide. However it will be able to provide us some level of sufficiency although not up to what we desire.”
Asked if the industry has fared better under the current administration, Abdullahi scored the President Muhammedu Buhari-led government low and urged them to brace up to expectations of the people.
“Since this government came on board, we wanted to see that the refineries are turned around but they have not been turned around. So going by that assessment they have not done well for us.
“Secondly, look at the East-West road, with numerous oil installations in this vicinity, yet the roads are not accessible. Today while coming here (refinery), we had to leave the vehicle and walk down here due to traffic, orchestrated by dilapidated nature of the road. So, to us, this administration has not done well for the industry.”
On incessant strikes and threats of strike by the labour unions, he said, “workers do not just shut down for the sake of it. We shut down because we want to achieve something, but then the first thing that we do is to follow through an amicable means of resolving conflicts, but when that fails Nigerians should understand that we only use strike as the last resort.”