Kachikwu, Baru others mull gas economy for Nigeria.
The Federal Government and other major stakeholders have identified challenges militating against Nigeria’s journey to a gas-based economy.
They spoke at the Nigerian Gas Association (NGA) 11th International Conference and Exhibition yesterday in Abuja.
The Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Maikanti Baru, former GMD of the corporation, Jackson Gaius-Obaseki, Secretary General, International Gas Union (IGU), Luis Bertrán Rafecas, NGA president, Dada Thomas, and heads of international oil companies (IOCs) noted that the nation’s gas deposits were being threatened by weak regularly framework, lack of funding, vandalism, security and other critical challenges.
Indeed, the stakeholders were of the view that of the country’s average gas production of 8.5Bscfd, 3.7Bscfd is being exported, 2.7Bscfd for re-injection/gas-lift while only 1.5Bscfd is domestically deployed for power and industries just as the balance of 0.6Bscfd gets flared.
They insisted that the current efforts to spur the nation’s economy through the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) and industrialise the nation would remain a mirage without the development of the gas sector.
Admitting that the industry is beset by daunting challenges, Kachikwu said government was working on new laws and policies to address them as well as build Investors’ confidence.
Harping on the need for a clearer policy direction, the minister disclosed that the ministries of Power, Works and Housing as well as that of Finance were being engaged to address the challenges.
Also speaking at the event, titled Shift to Gas Economy, Pace & Scale of Innovation In The West African Sub-Region, Baru noted that the problems in the power sector, especially transmission and distribution, had, in recent times, led to loss of over 500MMscfd of gas that would have generated about 2,000MW of electricity.
In his remarks, Rafecas noted that there are potential for gas investment across the world, adding that Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) capacities were growing at six percent yearly.
To Thomas, there was the need for the West Africa sub-region to collaborate on building gas infrastructure and developing a robust regional master plan that would lead to the development of the sector and establishment of multiplier industries.