By Yemie Adeoye
THE Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison_Madueke, has reassured Nigerians of her Ministryâ€™s commitment to ensuring regular electricity supply across the country.
Alison_Madueke who made this clarification at a meeting with members of the Senate and House of Representatives Joint Committees on Gas Resources on Thursday stated that in line with the Ministryâ€™s commitment, gas supply to the traditional power plants was at an all_time high of one billion standard cubic feet (1bscf).
She said her immediate concern was to sustain this level of gas supply and possibly boost supply through repair of gas infrastructure, adding that the short term plan was to stabilize power supply to such a level that would enable consumers plan their activities with some level of predictability.
The Minister disclosed that apart from short term projects that are currently being pursued to add 325mmcf/d to national gas production level by the end of 2010, the Ministry was exploring other means of boosting gas supply. These she said include the review of domestic supply obligation and a new pricing regime for gas to ensure bank0ability and attract investors into the sector.
On the implementation of the Gas Master Plan so far, Alison_Madueke said it was being moved into the operationalisation stage where it would create a basis for sustained growth in the sector.
Speaking earlier while welcoming the Minister, managers and directors of gas_related parastatals under the Ministry to the briefing, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Gas Resources, Senator Osita Izunaso, said the Joint Committeeâ€™s decision to invite the Minister was to enable them share her views which will ensure that the executive and legislative arms of government do not working at cross_purposes as well as put the gas sector on the right footing.
The Chairman of the House Committee on Gas Resources, Honourable Igo Aguma, on his part said the Joint Committee felt that it needed to be updated on critical issues in the sector such as the level of the implementation of the Gas Master Plan and the current state of Brass and Olokola Liquefied Natural Gas projects.
The lawmakers also sought to know the state of the finances of the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas in Bonny and where the profit from the investment in the project is lodged.
The new Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Engineer Austen Oniwon, promised to get back to the Committee after he had looked at the books.