We need to plan for our nation’s economy beyond oil – Minister

Access Bank Plc

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, says there is need to continue to plan for the nation’s economy beyond oil.

Sylva made the assertion on Monday at the International Conference on Hydrocarbon Science and Technology held at the Petroleum Training Institute (PTI), Effurun in Delta.

The two days event was organised by the PTI management as part of a weeklong programme to mark the institution’s 2019 convocation.

Theme of the programme is: “Oil and Beyond Oil, Stategies, Policies and Technologies to Assure National Energy Security.”

Sylva was represented by Mr Felix Brisibe, the Technical Assistant to the Minister of Niger Delta Matter.

He said that as the nation’s oil resources was depleting, the demand of the product was also depleting in the market, particularly with the evolvement of the renewable energy.

“Considering the fact that oil is a depleting asset like they always say and considering the projection of the work in respect of renewable, we will begin to see a decline in terms of demand for oil in the market.

“We recognise the fact that we have very large deposit of coal in Nigeria, but today, the demand is considerably almost next to nothing.

“So, that implies that in future to come, if we do not as a country, begin to plan beyond oil, we will begin to experience a situation whereby demand for oil will continue to be on the decline as much as reserve also will be declining.

“By and large, the recommendations and strategic initiatives that will be arrived at from this conference will be communicated to the minister.

“The minister will articulate and present it to the presidency and it will form part of the strategic focus with respect to Mr President’s agenda for the next level,” he said.

Also, Prof. Christopher Orubu of the Delta State University, Abraka, attributed the poor state of the nation’s economy to weak institutions.

Orubu, who spoke on the topic: “Petroleum and the Development of the Nigeria Economy: What Went Wrong After Six Decades”, said the problem of Nigeria was not corruption, but weak institutions.

According to him, Nigeria lack the ability to run a developmental state, noting that oil market was an issue of policies and not science.

“We need to build very strong institutions that will enable us to effectively harness these resources from oil and move them further into other areas to guarantee security for the future,” he said.

Earlier, Principal of the PTI, Prof. Sunny Iyuke, said that the conference would form a platform to exchange knowledge and share experiences on hydrocarbon technology.

Iyuke expressed hope that at the end, solution for alternative to energy security in the country would be arrived at.

The event was attended by academics and experts in the oil and gas sector, would continue on Tuesday.