The cash call exit programme of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has drawn applause from Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry players with the Country Chair of Shell Companies in Nigeria, Mr. Osagie Okunbor, commending it as a pragmatic move that has helped to restore investors’ confidence in the country. The Shell boss gave the commendation today at the ongoing 2018 Nigeria Oil & Gas Conference and Exhibition holding in Abuja. Speaking at an Industry leaders panel session, on the theme: “Unlocking Nigeria’s Investment Potentials”, Mr. Okunbor cited the successful exit of cash call and the clearance of the outstanding arrears by the NNPC as the strong points of the initiative. Also speaking at the panel session, the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, said investment in the gas sector of the petroleum industry held the key to accelerated development of the nation’s economy. The NNPC helmsman urged Industry stakeholders and investors to focus more on gas as it was a cleaner and more versatile energy capable of being deployed as raw material for the production of a range of products that impact on the lives of the people more than crude oil. Dr. Baru who was represented by the NNPC Chief Operating Officer (COO), Upstream, Mallam Rabiu Bello, informed that most of the agro-based chemicals such as fertilizers used in the country were imported; arguing that investment in gas could change that scenario and domesticate the production of fertilizers and other agro based chemicals derived from gas. He said the multiplier effect of investment in gas such as the ongoing Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) gas pipeline was responsible for the corporation’s commitment to the project, adding that more of such projects would be replicated around the country. Speaking earlier at another session with theme: “Harnessing Opportunities in Nigeria’s Downstream sector”, NNPC Chief Operating Officer (COO), Refineries, Mr. Anibo Kragha, disclosed that the Federal Government was exploring the possibility of deploying modular refineries as a tool for eliminating illegal refineries that have constituted a menace not only to the economy but also to the environment. On his part, COO, Downstream, Engr. Ikem Obih, disclosed that as part of the commitment of the GMD to reduce the challenges posed by trucks on the nation’s highways, most of the NNPC pipelines were being revamped and that the Aba-Enugu line would soon be restored. Engineer Obih said it was difficult to determine the actual daily consumption of petrol in the country because of trans-border smuggling and other factors, adding that the NNPC was working with the Ministry of Finance to arrive at a verifiable national daily consumption figure.