Stakeholders decry marginal drop in Oil and Gas contribution to GDP
Major stakeholders in the Oil and Gas sector have decried the decline in the contribution of oil revenue to the nation's Gross Domestic Product, GDP. DAILY POST learnt that the oil sector has steadily dropped behind Agriculture, Trade, Telecommunications/ICT, and Real Estate in terms of the sectors that actively contribute the most to Nigerias GDP. The Stakeholders disclosed the current situation at the 4th edition of the Nigerian Oil & Gas Opportunity Fair, NOGOF, 2023, with the theme Oil & Gas Industry - Catalyst and Fuel for the Industrialization of Nigeria, in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State. In his welcome address, the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, NCDMB, Simbi Wabote, said, "This theme reflects the pivotal role that the oil and gas industry is expected to play in driving the economic growth and development of Nigeria. Of late, this role expected of the oil and gas industry has been dwindling due to missed opportunities as a result of policy inconsistencies, deferred decisions, and investment apathy. The nations GDP growth rate slowed between the years 2021 to 2022 as released by the National Bureau for Statistics (NBS). Over this period, the growth of the nations GDP became marginal but the reality is that we need to drive the growth rate to double digits for us to achieve the level of economic advancement and development that we desire. The NBS report noted that the total annual contribution of oil to aggregate GDP in 2022 was 5.67% compared to 7.24% in 2021. ''These are signs of a dying sector and we must all join hands to stop the decline so that we can return oil and gas contribution to GDP to double digits levels, similar to other major oil-producing countries, said Wabote. ''For instance, Norway has doubled its GDP in the last 2 years from $171.2 billion to $367 billion with the oil and gas sector contributing about 20%, followed by their hydropower. ''Although Norway is in a different clime from Nigeria, we share some similarities when we look at the huge deposits of natural resources coupled with a skilled labour force and the adoption of new technology that made Norway a prosperous country during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. ''It is my belief that the oil and gas sector can serve as the catalyst that will enable us to achieve the desired double-digit GDP growth rate if we are bold and disruptive in our strategy.'' On his part, Bayelsa State Governor, Senator, Douye Diri, appreciated the leadership of the board for the Oloibiri Museum and other investments sited in different parts of the state. He said the state government is working towards ensuring it provides a conducive and enabling environment for investment to strive in the state. He said, "The oil industry is a major focus of the economy. There has been a lot of peace in the state which is the result of what the government is doing." ''We also use this medium to commend the federal government on the PIA but we are not happy in the Niger Delta that only 3 percent of overhead is allocated to the oil producing companies, while 30 percent of NNPC profits on oil and gas is going for exploration of frontier basin areas, sometimes we wonder why that happens. ''There are lots of issues in terms of opportunities and we should also know that the population of the country is growing at the rate of 3 percent, so we need to ensure that opportunities can meet the energy needs of the people. ''The implementation programme for the PIA is taking a lot of time or did we not plan as a country that the PIA will come to be, for how long more are we going to wait? As a government, we think it is slow because you are depriving the community of this little developmental benefits they should have, he said. In his brief, the Chief Group Executive Officer, NNPC Limited, Mallam Mele Kolo Kyari, noted that the Dangote refinery is coming up in two weeks' time and that NNPCL has taken equity in it. He said the supply of 300,000 barrels of crude by NNPCL will commence daily, which is an opportunity for them as a company. He said, "We have one big challenge which is insecurity in the Niger Delta region but recently our partnership with relevant authorities and government's security agencies is paying off. We have moved production from one million last year to 1.67 million in March this year. ''We took the frontier position and agreed to contend with the insecurity situation and today it is yielding results. I am happy with the success and what my team have done. ''There's a clear connection between energy and prosperity, any conversation around climate change, energy transmission all boils down to providing sources of energy. No country has developed without or can develop without energy. Industrialization survives on energy, so we will address the energy question so that industrialization and prosperity will be achieved in our country and the forum is a very good avenue to deliver this. ''Looking at the GDP data, 48 percent of oil revenue that is available for all tiers of government comes from the oil and gas industry. Every top infrastructure in the country built by sub-nationals is from the percentage contributed by the industry, which shows the industry is in a great position to support the growth and prosperity of the country,'' the NNPCL boss said.