The divestment story in Nigeria’s petroleum upstream sector has been a success case in terms of value creation, realization and retention for the economy, the Chief Operating Officer, Seplat Energy Plc, Mr. Samson Ezugworie has said.
According to the Seplat Energy COO, whilst the International Oil Companies put their focus on deep water activities – courtesy of their divestment programs – the Indigenous Oil Companies should be supported to grow onshore shallow water assets.
Ezugworie said this during a panel discussion at the 12th Practical Nigerian Content Forum at Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) Headquarters, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State themed ‘Deepening Nigerian Content Amidst Divestments, Domestication & Decarbonization’. The panel discussion was centered on the topic ‘Upstream Divestments: Outlining the Pathway to Success’.
“So, we need to enable the divestment opportunities that abound in the country today because that is the catalyst that will propel Nigeria to grow as have been set out by the current government,” he advised.
The Seplat Energy COO explained that Seplat Energy has been part of the divestment journey in the petroleum upstream sector of Nigeria and remains committed to driving excellence and advancing the fortunes of the Nigerian entity whilst impacting more lives and promoting national prosperity. Seplat Energy started this drive in 2009 leading to the acquisition of the Western Asset blocks in 2010, and today, Seplat Energy’s operations cover seven onshore blocks.
Ezugworie attributed the successes recorded by Seplat Energy and other indigenous players to the potency of the local content advocacy and urged Nigerians to be proud of the advancements and achievements thus far.
According to him, divestments activities do not only grow local potentials in the Nigerian energy landscape, but also tremendously boost capital development in-country, expand governments’ revenue base in taxes and create jobs for Nigerian businesses and Nigerians.
“Divestments in Nigeria have been of great success and what we need to do today is to make the sky wide enough for all the birds to fly” he added, noting that funding remains very strategic, as the right balance must be struck between sourcing for funding locally and attracting foreign direct investments.
The Seplat Energy COO said: “Governance and ethics are also critical to getting the right funding. There should be a clear and transparent commitment to ESG (Environment, Social and Governance); and shareholders in the business should get the right dividend which retains existing investors and attracts new ones.
“The future looks bright for Nigeria as we have quite a few divestments opportunities in-country. Let’s enable those and allow the country to achieve organic growth.”