By Prince Okafor
As the recession continues to bite harder in the country, President, Nigeria Gas Association, (NGA), Bolaji Osunsanya has said that gas development at the levels of exploration and utilisation needs new focus.
He also affirmed that there is need to give gas a new pride of place especially in the light of the nation’s economic predicament.
Speaking during a courtesy visit to NIPCO Plc, Mr. Bolaji in a joint statement with the Managing Director, NIPCO, Mr. Venkatapathy Venkataraman, asserted that for Nigeria to effectively harness her endowed gas resources, there is need for a special policy focus on gas sector in the nation’s energy mix.
According to them, “Nigeria will only be often referred to as gas heaven with low level of utilisation of the resource if pre-eminence is not accorded to the sector.
The NGA President stated that there is a sense in focusing on gas whether you do it by creating a special ministry or you make sure it has a special focus in policy initiatives.
He also said that a great future lies ahead for the country in the development of its gas, not only in view of its availability in abundance but also in terms of utilisation either for power generation or for domestic usage and saving of foreign exchange in fuel importation.
On gas usage, Venkataraman said that NIPCO remains a key player in the sector both in the area of its usage as auto fuel and for domestic purposes across the country.
He stressed that in the area of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), the company had put in place massive gas storage facility with attendant distribution network through scores of gas trucks as well as inaugurating skid in some of its branded service stations.
He stated that NIPCO, in a joint venture with NGA, had inaugurated seven gas stations in the city of Benin and a compression plant at Ibafo, Ogun State, to improve accessibility by motorist and industrial concerns.
He however maintained that slow response to enormous investment by private sector through conscious patronage is adversely affecting returns on investment in the sector.