Chief Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, says that President Muhammadu Buhari has the political will to ensure that over 120million Nigerians are dragged out of energy poverty.
Sylva disclosed this at the Pre-summit conference of the Decade of Gas, in Abuja, on Monday.
He said that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration would ensure that the country‘s vast natural gas resources are taken advantage of to encourage industrialisation.
“if you remember, the economic plan of this administration revolves around the utilisation of natural gas.
“The four key areas are Energy Security, Transportation, Manufacturing and Industrialisation.
” The common denominator is the natural gas, as it is the major fuel to power generation, transportation and key ingredients for manufacturing fertilizer for agriculture.
“I can assure you that President Muhammadu Buhari has the political will to surmount the challenges to continue on the pursuit to transform Nigeria as a gas nation,” he said
According to him, natural gas is also needed in the petrochemicals for manufacturing, adding that it is no longer acceptable that in spite of the huge deposit of gas, the gap in power supply and demand is still huge in the country.
“We must deal with energy poverty in this country.
“We must find a way to unlock the natural gas potential of this nation and drag over 120 million of our people out of energy poverty,” he added.
He said that the aim of the summit was to achieve a robust roadmap that would drive the utilisation of gas in the country, using it for economic growth and development.
In his remarks, the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporations ( NNPC) Malam Mele Kyari, said the Pre-Summit Conference is coming at the most crucial time, as the world transits to cleaner energy.
He said that Nigeria was set to play a strategic role in this New World Energy Order.
“Technology and Innovation is facilitating a new energy transition aimed at de-carbonising the world and safeguarding the climate.
“But renewable energy sources of solar and wind, a key component of the new energy mix are influenced by seasons and are non-transportable to demand centres that are short of wind or sun.
“A transition fuel is therefore necessary and clearly unavoidable,” he said.
He added that Nigeria under the visionary leadership of President Buhari had committed huge resources to ensure that domestic gas infrastructure reaches every corner of the country, to deepen natural gas utilisation.
This, he said would also spur investment in power and gas-based industries, grow the economy and generate employment for millions of our young people.
“All this is at the backdrop of the fact we are a gas nation with over 203 tcf of proven gas reserves and potentially over 600tcf.
“Our effort at monetising the huge gas resources has been modest but clearly spurred to a higher level by numerous policy and industry interventions since 2016 culminating in the declaration of the year 2020 as the year of gas and now progressing with the decade of gas from the year 2021,” he added
Kyari said that several strategic projects had been delivered by NNPC and her partners to deepen the delivery of gas into the domestic market and elevate the build-up of greater potentials for export.
“The completion of the ELPS II, commission of the OB3 Lot 2, the NPDC Oredo gas handling facility, the SEEPCO gas processing plant can be easily cited even without the mention of the ongoing strategic backbone infrastructure delivery projects as the AKK pipeline.
“Others are the OB3 final hook-up, the Nigeria-Morroco pipeline and several other gas-based industries initiatives.
“All this will herald the sunset of gas revolution in our country within the Decade of Gas,” he added.
The News Agency of Nigeria ( NAN) reports that President Buhari, who declared the summit open virtually, urged stakeholders to join efforts to ensure full utilisation of huge gas deposit in the country for economic development.