By Chioma Onuegbu & Tom Moses
UYO—President Goodluck Jonathan has stressed the need for a revolutionary expansion of the oil and gas industry for the country to become the leading African nation in the sector.
He said: “The nation’s gas known to be of much quantity than oil, when maximally utilised, will not only boost the economy and create employment, but will to a very large extent, reduce cases of gas flaring to its barest minimum by 2020.”
He spoke in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, after performing the ground-breaking ceremony of the Oqua Gas plant and commissioning of the $600 billion gas processing facility initiated by Seven Energy Frontier Oil Limited and the Accugas Limited in conjunction with the Akwa Ibom State Government in Esit Eket.
Jonathan, at a separate event, commended Akwa Ibom State Government for partnering the private sector in the promotion and development of infrastructure in the state.
Speaking after laying the foundation stone of the $I.5 billion methanol plant located at Ibeno Local Government Area of the state, he expressed optimism that the project, when completed, would create employment opportunities for Nigerians.
He said apart from reducing the unemployment rate in the state, the methanol plant will encourage non-oil investments.
He also commended Chief Jim Ovia, Chairman Zenith Bank Group for the partnership, adding that the industrialisation effort which was worthy of encouragement will also complement his administration’s transformation agenda.
He added that the Federal Government was committed to any feasible investment in the non-oil sector as it would promote and encourage the expansion of the country’s economy.
On his part, Governor Godswill Akpabio described President Jonathan as a transformational leader, noting that he had touched all sectors of the economy.