Business

Onyema: Investors still interested in oil and gas sector

Oscar Onyema, CEO of Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), has said domestic investors are still willing to leverage oil and gas sector. He, however, noted that the sector would continue to experience external pressure throughout 2020 due to Covid- 19 pandemic.

Onyema spoke at the Seplat Energy Summit 2020 with the theme: “Business Sustainability and Strategic Leadership in Africa,” where discussions were held on providing valuable insights on the challenging cases on the role of energy systems to build a sustainable African economies. The maiden event held virtually on Thursday July 30 had in attendance government officials, apex and selfregulatory organisations, capital market operators, investment bankers, policymakers, chief executive officers (CEOs), economists, researchers, analysts, academics, and private equity firms.

The NSE CEO explained that the global pace of growth and the intensity of the trade tensions between the US and China would continue to be a determine factors for investments. On how to finance the energy sector in the African continent, a former Director General of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Arunma Oteh, asked energy companies to rigorously optimise their cash flow by rigorous cost cutting, but also rationalisation asset portfolio. “They should try and divest non-performing assets, optimise investments in merge and acquisitions and explore other financial structures,” Oteh said. Roger Brown, incoming CEO of Seplat, said Africa as a continent needed to build a baseload for which it can build from and drive its gas agenda, which Nigeria can lead through renewable energy.

Concerning expectation from government, which will allow Nigeria play a leading role, Brown said the government should support oil firms through partnerships in joint venture agreement, more support in competing transactions and approvals and clearer legislature.

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