NNPC: Nigeria calls for gas-driven industrialization

By Kalu Kalu

Dr. Maikanti Baru, Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), addressing delegates at the 27th World Gas Conference in Washington DC, United States.

The Oil and Gas Industry in Nigeria is creating an enabling environment for investors to contribute their quota towards making Nigeria’s abundant natural gas resources serve as launching pad for the nation’s industrialization take-off.

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources in Nigeria, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, the Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Maikanti Baru, as well as some critical stakeholders in the Industry arrived at this consensus while speaking at the Nigerian Pavilion on the sidelines of the just concluded
27th World Gas Conference WGC, which was held in Washington, United States.

Dr. Kachikwu, who was represented by Dr. Folashade Yemi-Esan, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, said it was imperative for Nigeria to market its enormous gas resources at the global level because “we have to get our industries to work.”

The Minister noted that ideas, experience and lessons learnt from other countries at the conference would spur Nigeria to dismantle all obstacles which, over the years, have been slowing down the nation’s gas-to-power aspirations and industrialization.

“Without power, we cannot have industrialization in our country. We are therefore committed to making the best use of what we have in terms of gas potentials and ensure that gas, indeed, drives the power sector,”  Kachikwu stated.

On his part, Dr. Baru said NNPC was driving a number of initiatives which included collaborating with the National Assembly to address the fiscals; putting the required infrastructure in place as well as ensuring that new power plants are built.

“We are keen on using some of the new projects like the 614km Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano Gas Pipeline Project to open up not only the gas corridor but also ensure that power plants that are built can inject stability into the national grid,”  Baru explained.

The NNPC Boss, Dr. Baru, stated that as part of the new gas development initiatives, investors were expected to come in and establish fertilizer and petrochemical plants.

“On our part, we are keen on ensuring the sanctity of all our contracts. This, surely, will ultimately kick-start our industrial development,”  he added.

Also speaking, the Chairman Senate Committee on Gas, Senator Bassey Albert Akpan, commended the NNPC Group Managing Director for his support towards ensuring Nigeria’s successful outing at the conference, adding that engagements such as this would create the enabling environment for potential investors.

He said as legislators, the National Assembly is currently working on the fiscals and the administration aspects of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), having already passed the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) which he said was awaiting Mr. President’s assent.

The Chairman, House Committee on Gas, Hon. Fredrick Agbedi, stated that the Senate and the House of Representatives were working together to ensure that in the next few weeks, the PIB becomes a law so that Nigerians will derive the maximum benefits from the Gas Sector.

Speaking on the role of the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG), the Managing Director of NLNG, Mr. Tony Attah, explained that the company is very critical in achieving the enormous potentials within the Gas Sector.

Mr Attah also said as the biggest off-taker of gas nationwide, the corporation remained committed to safely producing its 22 metric tonnes per annum (MTPA); bringing value to shareholders; growing capacity of staff in respect of Train 7 as well as keeping pace with the rest of the world.

In his remarks, the Director, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Mr. Mordecai Ladan, said as a regulator, the Department would soon announce new ways of doing business in its areas of purview, stressing that gas domestication was key to the Department’s agenda.

He observed that gas flare-out across the industry had now reduced drastically from 12 percent to 9 percent:

“We are trying to make sure that companies come up with projects that will utilize the gas, and in turn, reduce gas-flaring in the process.’’

Also the President of the Nigerian Gas Association (NGA), Mr. Dada Thomas, said renewables and natural gas complement each other:

“For Nigeria, gas is clearly the direction. We must all do our bit to attract foreign direct investment around our 192tcf proven gas reserves which we hope shall be translated into energy security, power generation and above all value addition for our teeming populace.”

Amaka E. Nliam