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HomeBusiness NewsGabriel Ogbechie Advocates Increased Crude Oil Production to Tackle Nigeria's Economic Challenges

Gabriel Ogbechie Advocates Increased Crude Oil Production to Tackle Nigeria’s Economic Challenges

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Abuja, October 26, 2023 — Gabriel Ogbechie, the Group Managing Director of Rainoil Limited, emphasized the urgent need for Nigeria to increase its crude oil production as a solution to the current economic challenges facing the nation. He made these remarks during a roundtable session at the 29th edition of the National Economic Summit in Abuja, which was themed “Igniting growth: Energy and Nigeria’s global race.”

The session brought together key industry experts and stakeholders to discuss the modernization of the energy sector in Nigeria. The focus was on how to bolster production, reduce operational costs, enhance global trade, and ultimately boost the nation’s economy.

Ogbechie, speaking on the panel, highlighted the fact that Nigeria possesses vast oil reserves, with oil accounting for over 95 percent of the country’s foreign earnings. However, he expressed concern that Nigeria continues to fall short in terms of oil production, a factor that has had a detrimental impact on the nation’s economic stability.

“Nigeria, as a gas-producing country, should not be importing liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) but should harness its gas potential to meet its domestic LPG needs,” Ogbechie asserted.

He continued, “There’s been a lot of back-and-forth between fossil fuel and renewable energy, but Nigeria still remains largely a fossil fuel country. We have proven oil reserves of more than 36 billion barrels; unfortunately, our current production is at best 1.4 billion barrels daily, and Nigeria needs to do a lot to ramp up production.”

Ogbechie stressed that Nigeria should be able to produce at least 3 million barrels of crude oil every day, as crude oil production constitutes more than 95 percent of the country’s foreign exchange earnings.

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He further addressed the issue of gas flaring, noting that Nigeria has more than 208 trillion cubic feet of proven gas reserves, a significant portion of which is being flared by oil-producing companies. Ogbechie pointed out, “It is, however, embarrassing that we still import LPG into the country, using scarce foreign exchange to sell. Nigeria should be self-sufficient in our LPG needs; we should not be importing LPG.”

To tackle these challenges, Ogbechie called on the Federal Government to encourage companies with gas assets to fully utilize them, emphasizing the need for more stringent penalties for gas flaring to deter such practices effectively.

Gabriel Ogbechie also highlighted Rainoil’s contributions to support the growth of the energy sector, stating that the company is expanding its capacity to assume more responsibilities in the sector. He urged the government to continue supporting the energy sector through favorable policies.

“Rainoil is building more capacity; as a company, we are one of the significant downstream oil and gas companies in the country, with over 180 petrol stations and three oil terminals spread across the country. We have an 8000 metric tonnes LPG facility in Lagos and are heavily into distribution with a fleet of more than 300 tank trucks distributing petroleum products across the country,” he said. “So, in terms of capacity, we not only fulfill our part but are also ready to take up more responsibilities in the energy sector. We call on the government to continue supporting the energy sector in terms of policies,” Ogbechie concluded.

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Gabriel Ogbechie’s remarks at the National Economic Summit highlight the pressing need for Nigeria to leverage its vast energy resources to enhance its economic stability and global competitiveness. By significantly increasing crude oil production, addressing gas flaring, and reducing the reliance on LPG imports, Nigeria can mitigate its economic challenges and pave the way for a more prosperous future.

To achieve this vision, collaboration between the government and private sector entities, such as Rainoil, is crucial. By implementing favorable policies and regulations, Nigeria can unlock its energy potential, reduce economic vulnerabilities, and strengthen its position in the global energy race. As the country looks to the future, the energy sector holds the key to igniting growth and driving economic transformation.

 

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