By Prince Okafor
Inconsistent fiscal and regulatory policies of government have been blamed for the decline in oil and gas exploration activities in Nigeria.
Managing Director, Total E&P Nigeria Limited, Mike Sangster, stated this during the monthly technical presentation of Nigeria Association of Petroleum Explorationists, NAPE, held virtually on Wednesday.
Sangster blamed the development on uncertain fiscal and regulatory regimes, which push out policies that make new investments unattractive and uncompetitive.
According to him, there are no proportionate exploration activities to ensure long term sustainability and replenishment of the resource that accounts for more than 90 percent of the country’s foreign exchange earnings.
He said, “Total as a key stakeholder in the Nigerian oil and gas industry is prepared to work with the government, partners, and other stakeholders, to address these bottlenecks to new exploration investments.”
Sangster also noted that the adverse effect of the raging Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on lives and businesses, especially the Oil & Gas industry, cannot be overemphasized.
He stated: “These will have implications on the investment strategies and imperatives for businesses and even governments around the world. NAPE should adapt to a post-Coronavirus world and seek ways of reinventing itself for the purpose of continued relevance.
“I have no doubt that the respectable membership of this body will take advantage of this month’s presentation to make deliberate, robust, and incisive contributions aimed at addressing the many challenges confronting our industry and nation.”
He said that Total contributed $3.2 million (N1.2 billion) as part of the N21 billion donation spearheaded by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in support of the Federal Government’s COVID-19 efforts.
“The company also supported the Lagos State Government with critical supplies and medical equipment. In Rivers State, we reached out to our stakeholders by providing medical supplies and support for our host communities and the State Government.
“Our downstream company, Total Nigeria Plc donated N50 million as part of a combined contribution from the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), under the auspices of the NNPC and provided the Lagos State Government with fuel for logistical support during the pandemic,” he added.