The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has
Commended the management of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR)
for its ingenuity in ensuring that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic
does not cripple the nation’s economy due to the crash in oil prices.
The Minister made the remarks in Lagos on Monday when he paid a
courtesy visit to the headquarters of the DPR, which is the oil and
gas industry regulatory agency, a statement by his ministry said.
“The fact that the DPR took measures to ensure that the real impact of
COVID 19 on the economy of Nigeria is not felt too much, I think we
must thank you on behalf of Nigerians,” he said, after he was
conducted round the operational units of the agency by the Director
and Chief Executive Officer of the DPR, Mr, Sarki Auwalu.
Alhaji Mohammed, who was accompanied on the visit by journalists, said
despite the crash of oil prices due to the impact of the pandemic, and
the cut in production by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting
Countries (OPEC), the astuteness of the management of DPR kept
Nigeria’s economy afloat.
He said beyond regulating and managing the nation’s oil and gas
industry, the DPR is also engaging with oil producing communities to
ensure there is sustained peace for investment to grow into fruition
in the Niger Delta Region.
“What the DPR does goes far beyond technical because their engagement
of the oil producing communities is very key. When we came in 2015,
production had dipped because of the restiveness in the Niger Delta.
“It’s not by accident that we have some stability and modicum of peace
in that area today. It’s because of the policies that have been put in
place to continue to engage the communities,” the Minister said.
He also commended the DPR for the accountability it exhibits in the
management of the flow of revenue to the nation, which goes straight
into the Treasury Single Account, as well as utilizing technology to
account for every molecule of oil and gas extracted in the country.
In his presentation, the Director and Chief Executive of DPR, Mr.
Auwalu, said Nigeria would be a net export of refined petroleum
products by 2022 through the combined capacity of 375,000 barrels per
day from 27 modular refineries, 650,000 barrels from the Dangote
refinery and the 450,000 barrels from the government refineries.
He said the agency has keyed into the diversification agenda of the
Administration by providing the enabling environment and pushing for
the local production of fertilizer to boost agriculture in the
The Director said the DPR pushed for the production of fertilizer,
citing Indorama, Notore and Dangote among the companies that are now
into massive production of fertilizer
“I can tell you that in the next year and half, we will be a net
exporter of fertilizer because that is the bedrock of agriculture and
that is what we will deliberately push to key into this government’s
sense of diversification,” he said.
Mr. Auwalu said the government is also implementing a
6-billion-standard-cubic-feet gas supply per day to lay the foundation
for the industrial and economic growth of the country.
He said the projects consist of the Obiafu-Obrikom-Oben pipeline for
2.2 billion standard cubic feet of gas, which is near completion; the
2.2 billion standard cubic feet Escravos-Lagos pipeline to power the
entire South-West Geo-political Zone and the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano
pipeline to convey 2.2 billion standard cubic feet of gas per day.
The DPR Director took the Minister and his entourage round the
National Production Management System, where the agency monitors
real-time the production and transportation of crude oil vessels; the
Server Room that coordinates the Integrated Digital Platforms; the
Nigerian Gas Flare Commercialisation Network; and the online
monitoring of marginal fields, among other platforms.