Oil & Gas
Strengthening Nigeria gas-based industrial economy projection
by KELECHI EWUZIE
October 4, 2017 | 12:47 am| | | Start Conversation
The Federal government approved gas policy which intends to focus on a gas-based industrial economy no doubt has set the tone for serious discussed among industry players.
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 and growth plan, ERGP, 2017-2020.
A cursory look at the policy document shows that it articulates the vision of the government, set goals, strategies and an implementation plan for the introduction of an appropriate institutional, legal, regulatory and commercial framework for the gas sector as there are regulations that intend to remove the barriers affecting investment and development of the sector.
Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, Minister of State for Petroleum repeatedly stated in several fora that the federal government gas policy interventions would move the economy from oil to gas.
Kachikwu consistently assures that with the new gas policy, the country will diversify the gas supply options within Nigeria, ensure security of supply; extend gas penetration in the domestic market in order to facilitate the growth of the electric power, agricultural, and industrial sectors; gain a presence for Nigerian gas in international markets; and operate a gas industry with a clear division of roles between private and public sectors.
Industry close watchers who are out with their verdicts opine that to successfully carry out the so called gas based industrial based projection by the federal government, there is the need to tackle issues around absence of a proper legal, regulatory and policy framework.
They contend that failure to address these fundamental will present a clog in the wheel of progress in the achievement of its objectives.
They disclosed that two major bills that could go a long way in aiding the realization of the master plan’s objectives are the Downstream Gas Bill and the Gas Fiscal Reform Bill.
They also observed that there is the need to address that National Domestic Gas Supply and Pricing Policy. According to them, “This policy aims to fully bring the gas sector in line with the economic growth aspiration of the nation by providing solutions to the issue of gas pricing; addressing domestic gas supply availability in a manner that delicately balances the need for domestic economic growth and revenue generation from export”.
“It would also implement an approach for the gas sector that enables full participation of all gas suppliers in the country in a way that ensures sustained gas supply to the domestic market”, they said.
Saka Matemilola, former chairman, Nigerian council of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, (SPE) was quoted to have said the decision by the federal government to push for gas based economy has demonstrated the commitment to support industrial growth in the country as the move will not only help realise its gas flare out objective but will increase gas supply and encourage domestic gas utilisation as well promote export potential of the commodity.
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