President Muhammadu Buhari says Nigeria will strengthen its position as regional leader in the oil and gas industry.

President Muhammadu Buhari says Nigeria will strengthen its position as regional leader in the oil and gas industry, even as his administration will spare no effort in ensuring maximum benefit from the nation’s huge natural resources.

He stated this at the virtual inauguration of the National Oil and Gas Excellence Centre (NOGEC) at the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) headquarters, Lagos

President Buhari pledged that the Federal government will continue to leverage oil and gas for development and pursue economic diversification across all sectors.

President Buhari therefore urged all industry practitioners and stakeholders to support the task of nation building to realise the abundant opportunities in the country.

He commended the Honourable Minister of State Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, the Director/ CEO of DPR, Engr. Sarki Auwalu and the entire staff of DPR on the actualization of the project.

On the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the nation’s economy, President Buhari noted that in 2020, global economies were faced with unprecedented challenges and severe shocks in the wake of the pandemic and attendant consequences.

The President said Nigeria was not spared from the impact of the COVID-19, oil price crash and OPEC production cuts with direct impact on government revenue projections and national economy.

In his remarks, the Minister of State Petroleum Resources, explained that the integrated Centre encompasses five units, designed to comprehensively cover key areas of the industry while enhancing safety, value and cost efficiency.

The units are: 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.

On SERAS, the Minister further explained that it is a flagship programme of the centre designed to enhance safety management, emergency preparedness and response, and routine transportation for bed-space management.

He added that SERAS will therefore drive cost reduction and improve operational efficiency across the industry. Conservatively, it is projected that upon full implementation of SERAS the annual industry expenditure for offshore and remote locations, flight logistics and emergency response will reduce by 50 per cent.

BELLO WAKILI

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