From Bello Wakili (Abuja)
President Muhammadu Buhari has assured that his administration will fully utilise the enormous gas resources in the country to boost the economy and propel industrialisation.
He gave the assurance virtually in Abuja at the Nigeria International Petroleum 2021 Pre-Summit Conference and official launch of the Decade of Gas in Nigeria.
President Buhari noted that the rising global demand for cleaner energy sources had offered Nigeria an opportunity to exploit her gas resources for the good of the country.
The President told the participants at the Pre-summit session that his administration had prioritised gas development, and recorded remarkable progress, noting that Nigeria is a gas nation with a little oil, but that the country has instead focused on oil over the decades.
He said before the declaration of Year 2020 as The Year of Gas, his administration had shown commitment to the development of Nigeria’s vast gas resources and strengthening of the gas value chain by reviewing and gazetting policies and regulations to enhance operations in the sector, as encapsulated in the National Gas Policy of 2017.
President Buhari said his administration saw the need to kick start other policies and projects, like the National Gas Expansion Programme, Autogas Policy, and the construction of the 614km Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano gas pipeline to facilitate rapid development.
He commended the collaboration between the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation(NNPC) and the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited(NLNG) to actualise the dream of transforming Nigeria through the utilisation of her massive gas resources.
President Buhari described the NLNG as the Federal Government’s arrowhead in the reduction of gas flaring in the country.
According to the President, NLNG, which contributes about one percent to GDP, has generated 114 billion dollars in revenues over the years, 9 billion dollars in taxes, 18 billion dollars in dividends to the Federal Government, and 15 billion dollars in Feed gas Purchase.
The President noted that those achievements were accomplished with 100 percent Nigerian Management and 95 percent Nigerian workforce.
President Muhammadu Buhari charged other relevant ministries, departments, and agencies on the need to partner with international and indigenous oil companies, as well as financial institutions to actualise the dream to fully utilise Nigeria’s gas resources to boost the economy.