The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has stressed the need for the Federal Government to address the country’s gas producing and supply infrastructure.
Its President, Dr Michael Olawale-Cole, gave the advice in a statement to newsmen on Sunday following the ongoing crisis due to Russia’s invasion on Ukraine since Feb. 24.
Olawale-Cole studying the economics of the crisis, said that Nigeria should have been a major harvester of opportunities from the war in areas like gas supplies to Europe.
This, he explained, was due to the fact that Russian oil and gas had been rejected as part of sanctions on Russian for invading Ukraine.
The LCCI President in preparing for the reality of the near future, urged the Federal Government to take seriously the completion of projects like the Trans-Saharan Gas Pipeline, a planned natural gas pipeline from Nigeria to Algeria.
“With this, we can explore the opportunity of exporting gas to Europe.
“We should also target Trans-Saharan and European markets with the ongoing construction of the Ajaokuta, Kaduna, Kano Gas Pipeline, popularly known as AKK gas pipeline.
“Arising from the calamities of this war, Nigeria can explore emerging opportunities to earn huge foreign exchange inflow in the medium to long-term,” he said.
Olawale-Cole also charged government to open up its reserves to boost supply of grains in order to stabilize prices of wheat at least in the short term.
Alternatively, he said that government should intervene by way of initiating imports from other sources outside the war zones.
“The war between Ukraine and Russia will likely make the world’s hunger crisis even tougher to fight as the countries are two of the world’s major suppliers of staple grains like wheat.
“Nigeria’s food supply will surely come under some pressure as it imported 4 per cent of wheat from Ukraine and 27 per cent of wheat from Russia in 2021.
“However, the most sustainable solution is for the government to boost local production of these staples to levels that meet local demand,” he said.
He called on the Federal Government to deploy the instrument of diplomacy in reaching out to well-meaning world powers towards a speedy resolution of this crisis.
This, he said, was because the duration of the war was a critical variable in determining the extent of damage that may occur as a result of it.
The LCCI President also stressed the need for more efforts to speed up the evacuation of Nigerians from the war-torn region.