…says 100,000 Nigerians die annually from firewood, smoke-related complications
By Levinus Nwabughiogu-Abuja
Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas, NLNG has said that it has generated $108 billion of revenue, delivered $35 billion dividends to the shareholders and paid $8 billion taxes to the Nigerian government in its 21 years of operation.
The company also stated that it has delivered 5000 LNG cargoes around the world and delivered 23 dedicated LNG ships to ensure a smooth operation just as it installed assets worth $11 billion.
The General Manager, External Relations and Sustainable Development of the company, Mrs Eyono Fatayi-Williams gave the scorecard during a meeting with the House of Representatives Committee on Gas Resources.
The Committee chaired by Hon. Nicholas Mutu from Delta State had invited the company officials to brief it on their activities and efforts to accelerate investments in the production and processing gas with a view to consolidating Nigeria’s gas export opportunities.
Making her presentation before the committee, Fatayi-Williams said: “We buy gas, we liquefy it, we transport it and sell it to the buyers and get value for Nigeria LNG and for Nigeria.
“In the 21 years we have operated, we have delivered 5000 LNG cargoes around the world and we have 23 dedicated LNG ships to ensure our operation runs smoothly.
“On Bonny island, we have six installed and operation LNG trains (the train is also known as LNG manufacturing line) of 22 million tonnes capacity.
“Our installed asset is 11 billion dollars, today we have generated 108 billion dollars in revenue since inception and have delivered 35 billion dollars in dividends to the shareholders in the 21 years that we have operated and have paid 8 billion dollars in taxes.
“The early days of Nigeria exploring crude, 65% of the gas that is produced with crude exploration was flared. The intervention was to have an LNG plant that would utilize that otherwise flared gas to reduce gas flaring and bring about a cleaner environment. We are proud to say that today, less than 12% of the gas that is produced with crude is flared. It’s a significant reduction.”
Giving a background to the establishment of NLNG, Williams said that the NLNG was only a dream in minds of its founding fathers from 1960 to 1989.
She added that between 1989 and 2019, the company was incorporated and became a limited liability company with four shareholders.
According to here, from 1999, the first cargo sailed from Bonny Island in Rivers to France which put the NLNG on the map as an operational company which she said began the 21 years of safe, consistent and reliable products as an operating company.
It will be recalled that NNPC represents the Federal Government in the company and has 49 per cent shares while Agip, Shell and Total have 51 per cent shares.
Fatayi-Williams said that in the early days of crude oil exploration, 65 per cent of gas was flared.
According to her, less than 12 per cent of the gas which was produced with crude is flared.
The manager further said that Nigeria is currently rated 9th in the world with 200 Trillion Cubic Feet (TCF) of proven gas reserves, adding that the 600 TCF of unproven gas reserves, if monetized, Nigeria will run 4th globally in the ranking order of proven gas reserves in the world.
Quoting the World Bank data, Williams said that about a 100,000 Nigerians die annually due to firewood smoke inhalation and related complications mostly women and children.
“If you compare this with the number of people who have died of COVID-19 complication which is less than 2000 as reported by NCDC, very little is said about the 100,000 who die of firewood and smoke.
“The use of firewood is a double edge sword, it is not only leading to a significant number of deaths, but we also know that cutting timber for firewood leads to deforestation, which later leads to desertification.
“As the desert moves further down, livestock has to move to find water to drink and pasture; these have resulted in some of the security situations we have today.
“It there becomes very important the LPG (cooking gas) agenda is supported to displace firewood and kerosine,” she said.
Fatayi-Williams said that in 2007, the national consumption of LPG was 50 tonnes but following the intervention of NLNG, one million tonnes of cooking gas was consumed in Nigeria in 2019.
According to her, the projection is that in another five years, about three million tonnes will be consumed in Nigeria.
“As we displace firewood, we allow trees to grow, we allow the environment to be better and hopefully a better future for our children.
“Cooking gas remains a cleaner alternative to firewood and kerosene,” she said.
In his welcome address earlier, the Chairman of the House Committee, Mutu said the meeting was called to ascertain areas the lawmakers can make inputs.
“The House Committee on Gas Resources is committed to supporting initiatives that will aid to accelerate investments in the production and processing gas with a view to consolidating Nigeria’s gas export opportunities and more importantly to enhance massive gas penetration and utilization in the domestic market.
“In this regards, we invite you to provide the Committee with strategies that will help to attract investments in the gas sector and to attain gas penetration in Nigeria.
“The Committee is also keen on promoting optimisation of resources by the re-utilization of by-products to enhance the gas value chain and create opportunities for those in the downstream of the value chain. In this regard, we call on you to provide data and strategies to support off-taker to re-use products from your production processes, which as you know, would be feedstock to other industries. The object is to create opportunities, jobs, and livelihoods by stimulating the growth of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises.
“In today’s meeting we hope to get a good understanding of the workings /performance report of your operations, the challenges and the legislative support needs, going forward. We also would want to be briefed on the status of Train 7 project and the business case that led to the signing of the FID.”
In his remarks earlier also, the Managing Director of NLNG, Mr Tony Attah said the company would partner with the committee to adequately develop the sector.
He said many foreign countries were looking up to Nigeria on gas availability like in Quarta, Trinidad and Tobago and in the Netherlands.
“We are ready to partner with your committee to bring about that progress that is required to unleash the potentials of gas.
“We have the potential to become number four in the world, we have 200 TCF proven and we know of 600 TCF unproven; if we prove that, Nigeria will become fourth in the world.
“Because of the changing energy mix, the world is moving from dirty to clean energy; by 2050, there will be nine billion people in the world.
“Today we have about seven billion, so it is like adding one new India and China to the world; where will the energy come from?
“So there is that dilemma, the world will need more energy, it needs it clean and cheaper and gas has offered itself not only as a transition fuel but also a destination fuel.
“We see gas as food because of its role in fertilizer production, we see gas as employment, we see gas industry, power and transport as the most country have trains and cars running on gas.
“We want this committee to partner with us to raise the game on the awareness and to position Nigeria to take full advantage of the future,” he said