Investment in gas resources will provide alternative energy to fuel and diesel.
To provide alternative for diesel and petrol as fuel for businesses, the Nigerian Investment Promotion Council, NIPC, has canvassed investment in the development of gas resources by the Federal Government.
The Director-General of NIPC, Mustafa Bello, said on Monday in Lagos that building gas pipelines and connecting them to residential homes and business premises would provide a more viable alternative source of fuel to petrol and diesel used by most businesses in the country.
“It is no longer news that most companies spend so much on petrol and diesel due to the epileptic power supply in the country,’’ Mr. Bello said, adding that the use of gas for businesses should be encouraged to leverage on the cost of fuel in businesses.
Mr. Bello also said that the innovation of natural gas vehicles, NGVs, which makes use of Compressed Natural Gas, CNG, should be encouraged, pointing out that some private sector companies have shown willingness to partner with the government to manufacture the NGVs.
Mr. Bello said with more NGVs and industries making use of gas, the cost of doing business in the country will be reduced.
He lauded the Federal Ministry of Transportation for its efforts in improving the railway system in the country.
“If transportation and production costs were improved upon, the prices of commodities would become more affordable and turnover and employment rates would definitely increase,” he said.
Nigeria grooming gas sector
The Group Managing Director, GMD, of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Andrew Yakubu, said government’s efforts to position the gas sector for aggressive growth would earn the country about $10 billion (N1.5 trillion) as Foreign Direct Investment, FDI, from gas-based industries.
The GMD of NNPC, who was talking with investors at the Offshore West Africa, OWA, conference in Accra, Ghana, said Nigeria is transiting from an oil-based economy to an integrated oil and gas one, adding that the present administration has outlined three targets for the gas industry.
They include harnessing the country’s gas resources to provide adequate electricity for homes and businesses; development of gas-based Industries and development of high value gas export system as a major foreign exchange earner and other economic benefits as oil.
He said Nigeria has been positioned as the seventh among countries with huge natural gas reserves with the country having a total gas reserve of 187 trillion cubic Feet, TCF, with potential to grow as high as 600 TCF.
He said that between 2013 and 2015, over two billion cubic feet per day of natural gas would be deployed in the country to triple the existing power generation of 4500 megawatts to 13500 megawatts, adding that government’s focus on gas development and its availability for power generation is based on the conviction of the spin-off effects on industrialization and growth in FDIs in the country.
The GMD said Nigeria would continue to maintain its presence in high value gas export by pursuing two additional Greenfield Liquefied Natural Gas, LNG, projects at Brass and Olokola LNG, with a capacity of 10 Million metric tons per annum, MTPA, each; in addition to the existing 22 MTPA NLNG in Bonny, Rivers State.
In a bid to earn more revenue from gas, he said Nigeria supplies 130 million cubic feet of gas to Togo, Benin Republic and Ghana, adding that given the envisaged growth of the gas sector, government had commenced reforms geared towards attracting more investment and enhancing and ensuring bankability of projects.
“The combined impact of developing commercial frameworks for gas pricing, domestic supply obligation and gas infrastructure blueprint will stimulate rapid transition of the Nigerian Gas sector,’’ Mr. Yakubu said through the NNPC Group General Manager, Corporate Audit, Isa Inuwa.
The GMD stated that the main policy initiative of government in the downstream sector is full deregulation of the sector and implored investors from Africa and around the world to come and participate in the Nigerian Oil and Gas sector given the huge potentials there-in.