The Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari has expressed the readiness of the Corporation to lead Nigeria’s quest to power its economy with gas.
He noted that as the world transits to cleaner energy, NNPC is primed to play a strategic role in the new global energy order.
Kyari, made this submission at the Decade of Gas Pre-summit Conference in Abuja, with the theme: Towards Gas-Powered Economy by 2030.
In a welcome address at the event, Mallam Kyari stated that technology and innovation were facilitating a new global energy order aimed at decarbonizing the world and safeguarding the climate, stressing that renewable energy sources such as solar and wind which would be key components of the new energy mix were largely influenced by seasons and were non-transportable to demand centres where they are in short supply.
He contended that under the circumstances, natural gas, and by extension blue hydrogen, would be heavily depended upon as transition fuels to play a key role in the clean energy drive and would provide significant proportion of the global energy mix as well as guarantee feedstock to gas-based industries.
“Nigeria, under the visionary leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, has committed huge resources to ensure that domestic gas infrastructure reach every corner of our country to deepen natural gas utilization, spur investment in power and gas-based industries, grow the economy and generate employment for millions of our young people,” Mallam Kyari informed.
According to him, Nigeria as a gas nation with over 203trillion standard cubic feet (tscf) of proven gas reserves is monetizing the huge gas resources spurred by numerous policy and industry interventions since 2016, culminating in the declaration of 2020 as the year of gas and progressing into the decade of gas from 2021.
Mallam Kyari stated that NNPC and its partners have embarked on a number of strategic projects to deepen delivery of gas to the domestic market and elevate the build-up of greater potentials for export.
“The completion of the Escravos-Lagos Pipeline System Phase 2 (ELPS II), commissioning of the Obiafu-Obrikom-Oben (OB3) Lot 2, the NPDC Oredo Gas Handling Facility, and the SEEPCO Gas Processing Plant can be easily cited, even without mentioning ongoing strategic backbone gas infrastructure projects such as the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) pipeline, the OB3 final hook-up, the Nigeria-Morroco pipeline and several other gas-based industries initiatives. All these will herald the sunrise of gas revolution in our country within the decade,” the GMD stated.
He noted that as part of the journey to make the Decade of Gas a reality, the Federal Government has also rolled out the Autogas initiative to provide alternative cleaner and cheaper transportation fuel to petrol, adding that the initiative has received huge support from the entire energy industry and gained tremendous traction.
He lauded President Muhammadu Buhari for his strategic foresight, leadership and support for the oil and gas industry, saying that the various strategic initiatives were geared towards transforming the Nigeria’s energy landscape.
Also speaking at the event, the Minister of State Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva said Nigeria’s enormous gas resource would enable it tackle the energy poverty in the country, to generate electricity and power its industries.
Sylva pointed at the deal to build the $10 billion train-7 by the shareholders of NLNG, despite the disruption that happened last year, as a pointer to the potentials available in the sector.
He urged the operators to show faith and confidence in the Nigerian environment, saying the government has bent-over backward to accommodate their demands.
He expressed the commitment of the Buhari’s administration to get a new law for the industry through the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, saying the law would be passed soon.
He noted that the solution to most of the industry’s challenges would come through the PIB.
“The PIB, the National Assembly have confirmed their commitment and have shown commitment that the PIB will be passed in April, hopefully. If not in April, I am sure that in a few months from now the PIB will be passed”.
He expressed concern that efforts by the government to make the environment conducive for the operators have not been matched by required investments from the operators.
“As government is trying to bend over backward on a lot of provisions in the PIB, in our engagements with investors, is that going to attract the investments into Nigeria. In spite of the fact that we have bent over backwards are the investors ready to invest?
“Because in a situation where, for example, a company, I don’t want to mention the name although I am very tempted to because the COO is looking at me, will decide to invest $16 billion in a challenged environment, an LNG project in Mozambique that is challenged like Nigeria, but will be stalling on investment in Nigeria where it is not actually spending any money because most of it is from debt.
“Those are the concerns we have too. We must see commitments from our investors that when we bend over backwards, they will also be bending over backwards and encouraging us by investing. That is really the meeting point that we need. That meeting point will give a PIB that is going to ensure the growth of this sector in Nigeria”, he added.