Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Amb. Gabriel Tanimu Aduda has emphasized the urgent need for development banks to address the critical challenges faced by developing nations, particularly in Africa.
Aduda stated the above, Friday,during a meeting with AFDB consultants,who had paid him a visit as part of engagements with critical stakeholders on the Nigeria Economic Support Reforms Program/Appraisal Mission.Oluwakemi Ogunmakinwa,a Deputy Director,who is Head of the Press and Public Relations Unit in the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, reports that the event took place in Abuja.
While welcoming the visiting team that had come to discuss budget policy support,with specific focus on the power sector, Ambassador Aduda expressed frustration at the prolonged discussions and technical assistance provided by development partners such as IFC, IMF, World Bank, and the AFDB. He firmly stated that Nigeria was well aware of its challenges and immediate needs, without requiring external guidance to reiterate what was already known.
In the high-level discussions that followed,the Permanent Secretary outlined four key considerations in the energy sector where investments were needed. These he stated as below:
1) Power infrastructure- Expansion of national transmission grid lines.
2) Gas infrastructure- Building of trunk and distribution pipelines across the country for domestic ingestion of gas.
3) On payment of gas arrears,Aduda informed that the government has made appreciable progress on the issue and would soon be presenting a model for repayment to Mr President for approvals in the manner of either incremental production or tax credits to producers for pay back over time.
4) On gas pricing,he also revealed that the Ministry was working on the matter with the belief that the pricing template could not just be a one-cap-fits-all affair and added that the Ministry will have the willing buyer – willing seller cap with strategic gas- based industries rates which may involve some form of government intervention as incentive etc.
Aduda emphasized the importance of attracting investors to seize these opportunities, with focus on creating mutually beneficial partnerships.He proposed tolling the new power grid and gas pipelines to facilitate investor payback, while ensuring affordable access to gas for Nigerian households and potential exports.
He criticized engagements labeled as technical assistance and,also, highlighted the need to move beyond endless discussions and take concrete actions in order to address well-known challenges. Aduda,again,asserted that Nigeria was ripe for viable investment decisions and joint ventures that could deliver immediate and long-term benefits to its citizens.
Concluding,the Permanent Secretary emphasized that the success of the endeavor would hinge on bankable feasibility studies that could pave the way for investments in gas and power infrastructure. He expressed willingness to collaborate with development partners to achieve these objectives.