July 13, 2023

Gas development is priority for Tinubu’s administration – Presidency

Nigeria’s gas resources

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 Ms Olu Verheijen, the Special Adviser to the President on Energy, said on Wednesday that the development of gas was a priority for the President Bola Tinubu administration.

Verheijen said this at the opening of the “Decade of Gas” secretariat in Abuja.

“It has been a long journey with gas in this country,” she said.

The “Decade of Gas” programme is a Federal Government project designed to ensure that Nigeria propagates the supply and distribution of gas as the main source of energy both to power- and gas-based industries on commercial bases.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that this project is expected to be achieved between 2021 and 2030.

Verheijen said that the president placed high premium on gas and as such was committed to seeing the country utilise it to its fullest.

“We have gone from being a major exporter of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), to looking into our future, when gas is going to play a big role in the industrialisation of our country,” she added.

Farouk Ahmed, Chief Executive, Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), said that the country was working towards becoming more of a gas-based country for local consumption and export.

“It is a matter of empowering Nigeria on the utilisation of gas, so the sponsors group agreed that there should be a secretariat.

“In the past, this project was coordinated from Shell as a sponsor group and they thought that the ideal location should be a regulator and NMDPRA being the Midstream regulator was chosen as the host of the secretariat.

“That is why we are here to commence the process of taking over and informing the former secretariat of the Energy office in Jabi,” Ahmed said.

Coordinator of the project, Mr Ed Ebong, said that they were already working on about 15 different projects from the industry in the short term.

Ebong said that the projects would be the deciding factor of the country’s future if the right policy framework were put in place.

“A lot of work has been done; projects have been identified and we are now in the process of sitting with the operators to bring the issues to the surface; that is for the gas supply.

“We also need to provide comfort to the investors by clearing the areas of about US$ 1 billion that the gas companies owe for gas supply in the past and that is the clear priority.

“Gas will not get to where it will get to if we do not begin to build physical and virtual pipelines.

“Physical pipelines are physical lines, while virtual pipelines will enable us to have Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) operators that can move gas from where it is today to the areas where it is needed.

“The last is building capacity and these are those that will work in the gas sector,” Ebong added.