President Buhari at another occasion yesterday, pledged to continue the federal government’s diversification drive through the efficient use of revenues from oil and gas resources.
He stated that Nigeria will continue to strengthen its position as a regional leader in the oil and gas industry, just as his administration will spare no effort in ensuring maximum benefit from the nation’s huge natural deposits.
Buhari, during the inauguration of the National Oil and Gas Excellence Centre (NOGEC) at the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) headquarters, Lagos, which was partly virtual and partly physical, said through the deployment of revenues from oil and gas, he would reduce poverty and grow the economy.
The project is expected to house the various flagship centres to comprehensively cover key areas of the industry, including the Search, Rescue and Surveillance (SeRAS), Command and Control Centre and the National improved Oil Recovery Centre (NIORC).
It also comprises the Oil and Gas Dispute Resolution Centre (DRC), Oil and Gas Competence Development Centre (CDC) and the Integrated Data Mining and Analytics Centre (IDMAC).
He said the administration’s renewed drive for economic diversification using the oil and gas industry as a pivot remains on track as it has expanded government revenues and deployed it to grow the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), generate employment and contribute to eliminating poverty in Nigeria.
”This National Oil and Gas Excellence Centre will serve as an integrated resource complex to drive safety, value and cost efficiency in the industry. It is, therefore, another milestone in the development of the oil and gas sector and the realisation of greater value for the country,” he said.
The president explained that the integrated centre will enhance the contribution of the oil and gas sector to the nation’s GDP as well as strengthen Nigeria’s position as the regional leader in the industry.
He noted that the centre has opened new opportunities for the Nigerian petroleum industry in terms of investments, cost reduction, safety in operations and capacity development.
The president also urged all industry practitioners and stakeholders to support the task of nation building to realise the abundant opportunities in the country.
While commending the role played by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, and the Director of DPR, Mr. Sarki Auwalu, and the entire staff of the DPR on the actualisation of the project, Buhari said Nigeria will emerge more resilient this year despite the challenges besetting it.
Earlier, Sylva had explained that the integrated centre encompasses five units, designed to cover key areas of the industry while enhancing safety, value and cost-efficiency.
He listed the units as Search, Rescue and Surveillance, Command and Control Centre (SERAS); National Improved Oil Recovery Centre; Oil and Gas Alternative Dispute Resolution Centre; Oil and Gas Competence Development Centre and Integrated Data Mining and Analytics Centre.
The minister described SeRAS as a flagship programme of the centre designed to enhance safety management, emergency preparedness and response and routine transportation for bed-space management.