By Michael Eboh
ABUJA — The Federal Government, yesterday, said the recently approved National Gas Policy would be reviewed and updated periodically to ensure it was consistent with government policy objectives at all times.
Ministry of Petroleum Resources, in a statement by its Director of Press, Mr. Idang Alibi, said the policy document builds on the policy goals of the Federal Government for the gas sector as presented in the 7 Big Wins initiative developed by the Ministry and the National Economic Recovery & Growth Plan, ERGP, 2017 – 2020.
Alibi said the policy articulated the vision of the Federal Government, set goals, strategies and an implementation plan for the introduction of an appropriate institutional, legal, regulatory and commercial framework for the gas sector, adding that it was intended to remove the barriers affecting investment and development of the sector.
He said: “The gas policy intends to move Nigeria from an oil-based to an oil and gas-based industrial economy, which will be driven by the core principles as shown below: Separate the respective roles and responsibilities of government and the private sector; establish a single independent petroleum regulatory authority.
“Implement full legal separation of the upstream from the midstream; implement full legal separation of gas infrastructure ownership and operations from gas trading; Realise more of the LNG international downstream value; Pursue a project-based, rather than a centrally-planned domestic gas development approach.”
Others, he said, includes: “Make a strong maintenance and safety culture a priority; Implement international best practice for environmental protection; Establish strong linkages with electric power, agriculture, transport and industrial sector; Establish payment discipline throughout the energy chain.
“Honour stability of contract terms; Ensure security of assets and ensure compliance with the Nigerian Content Act.”
Alibi disclosed that the main aspects of the recently approved National Gas Policy covered governance (Legislation and Regulation); industry structure; development of gas resources; infrastructure; building gas markets and developing national human resources.
Giving a background of the policy, Alibi said the Federal Executive Council, FEC, meeting held on Wednesday, June 28, 2017, in Abuja, and presided over by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, approved the National Gas Policy.
He said the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Ibe Kachikwu, while speaking at the fifth Triennial National Delegates’ Conference of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, disclosed that the National Gas Policy was approved, following his presentation to the council.
He quoted Kachikwu as saying that Nigeria needed major changes in policy to make gas a hub of the nation’s economy, while also highlighting the need to have a stream of revenues between petroleum and gas in order to see an improvement in the nation’s economy and leverage on opportunities for gains from the oil and gas sector.