Nigeria has assured the Gas Exporting Countries Forum, GECF, of its continuous support as it struggles to surmount the challenges that the global oil and gas industry is facing. This assurance was given by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Third Summit of Heads of State and Government of the GECF Member Countries in Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran. The President noted that trying times call for more cooperation and coordination among Member Countries, while thanking President Hassan Rouhani of Iran for the invitation to discuss issues affecting the GECF and reaffirm commitment to the objectives of the Forum.
Speaking at the 17th Ministerial Meeting of the GECF at the weekend, also in Tehran, GECF President and Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu identified market volatility, increasing competition, price war and escalating cost of infrastructure development as the key challenges facing the gas industry in general and the GECF in particular.
Dr. Kachikwu posited that volatility has brought so much uncertainty and instability to the market thus affecting decisions on investment for long term supply of gas. He noted that increasing competition occasioned by the surge in new gas producers has led to a price war at a time when the cost of infrastructure development is escalating. These developments, he argued, are setting the stage for even more challenges for the industry and GECF Member Countries in the future. However, Kachikwu cautioned against reacting to the current challenges by failing to invest in the industry. He assured that the current challenges will come to pass and the market will rebound given the world’s need for energy and the environmental credentials of gas as the cleanest hydrocarbon fuel.
Commending the Forum for the success it has achieved since inception in 2001, the GECF President urged Member Countries to continue to give the Forum the required support to make it realize its fullest potentials. He paid tribute to the government and people of Iran for hosting the 3rd Summit of the GECF Heads of State and Government noting that it was a great achievement for the GECF that it was able to hold three successful Summits within a period of five years, 2011 in Doha, 2013 in Moscow in 2015 in Tehran.
The Forum announced the re-appointment of Dr. SM Hossein Adeli, as GECF Secretary General for another period of two years. Dr. Adeli, an Iranian Professor of Economics and former Governor of the Iranian Central Bank had competed for the position with Nigeria’s Ambassador Shuaibu Adamu Ahmed, a diplomat, Chartered Accountant and Financial Consultant.
The Ministers appointed His Excellency Dr. Mohammed Bin Saleh Al-Sada, Minister of Energy of Qatar, as President of the Ministerial Meeting from January 1 until December 31, 2016, and His Excellency, Bijan Namdar Zanganeh, Minister of Petroleum of Iran as Alternate President for the same period.
The GECF Summit was attended by nine Heads of State and Government of the Forum’s Member Countries and five representatives of other Member and Observer Countries.