The Niger State Governor, Sani Bello has called on stakeholders in the oil and gas sector to come up with pragmatic solutions to end crude oil theft and pipeline vandalism.
Governor Bello made the call when he declared open a three day workshop organised by the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) in Minna.
The workshop with the theme “Global Trend and Security Challenges in the Oil and Gas Industry in Nigeria” was aimed at addressing challenges affecting the oil and gas sector in Nigeria.
He said that the workshop would serve as a platform for finding lasting solutions to various challenges facing this critical sector of the Nation’s economy.
“I want to believe that at the end of the workshop you will come up with pragmatic solutions to end the oil theft, pipeline vandalism and proliferation of illegal refineries so that the nation can return and maintain its position as African’s leading gas and oil producer.
“ The onus is on all of us to show support to the President’s effort in reforming the oil and gas sector. We should explore our opportunities in revenue potentials of the country.
“We should utilize the gas potentials that we have and what we are missing in the oil sector can be achieved through the expanded earning from the gas sector,” he said.
The governor urged stakeholders to promote advocacy in revamping the decayed infrastructure in the oil and gas sector rather than capitalizing on individual interest.
Eariler, Mr Francis Johnson, PENGASSAN President, disclosed that the sector would be reformed to tackle the security challenges confronting the industry and the country at large.
Johnson decried the recent attacks by the Niger Delta militants and the occupation of Chevron by some people from the host communities.
He said that the attacks had forced the evacuation of workers from the company’s installation.
The PENGASSAN boss appealed to the militants to embrace federal government’s peace offer in order to maintain the growth and development of the country.
Similarly, Alhaji Abubakar Mustapha, Chairman, PENGASSAN Kaduna Zonal Office, said that the workshop would proffer solution on how to promote the economic, social and educational welfare of its members.
Mustapha said that it would serve as an avenue for stakeholders to identify the current global trend in the oil and gas industry and chart a way forward.
He added that issues such as the labour challenges of the Post-Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) would be given critical attention and addressed.