Abuja, Oct. 25, 2023: The Federal Government has reiterated the importance of ensuring an enabling environment that will attract investment to enhance domestic gas utilisation and infrastructure.
The Minister of State, Petroleum Resources (Gas), Mr Ekperipe Ekpo, said this during the 2nd edition of the Domestic Gas and Gas Infrastructure Summit (DGGIS) in Abuja on Tuesday.
The event has as its theme, ”Building a Sustainable, Resilient Gas and Renewable Energy Sector in Nigeria and Beyond ”.
It was organised by the Energy Trade Group of the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) with a focus on promoting local content.
According to the minister, strategic intervention frameworks, such as the Midstream and Downstream Gas Infrastructure Fund, are already bridging infrastructure gap and creating an environment conducive to future investments.
Ekpo said these advancements were not merely in anticipation of domestic growth but were aimed at positioning Nigeria as a key player in the African and global gas markets.
“Our strategies and initiatives focus on increasing domestic gas consumption and decisively reducing gas flaring.
“This commitment is evident in the commendable Nigerian Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme as well as in policies that promote gas-to-power initiatives.
”It could be seen in the gas-based industrialization and the conversion of associated gas into more economically valuable resources, thereby transforming environmental challenges into economic opportunities.
“Our roadmap is not limited to pipelines and power; it encompasses our commitment to creating gender-equitable solutions in any transition,” he said.
The minister expressed the desire of the government to build a resilient and sustainable energy industry that was inclusive and benefitted every citizen.
Ekpo said: ” Recognising the role of women in the energy sector, ensuring inclusivity and leveraging diversity is our strength.”
Earlier, the President, Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), Dr Al-Mujtaba Abubakar, commended the commitment of the present administration to enhance domestic gas utilisation.
Abubakar said the rising global demand for cleaner energy sources offered Nigeria an opportunity to exploit gas resources for the good of the country.
”This is an opportunity to buy in for the development of our dear nation.
”For us at the Chamber of Commerce, we take advantage of whatever would benefit the business community, improve economic growth, drive investments and provide much-needed jobs for Nigerians.
”We are glad that this present administration pledged her unalloyed commitment to leveraging the domestic utilisation, processing and international export of Nigeria’s massive gas resources.
”As a transition fuel to catalyse the fundamental restructuring of the nation’s economy for expansive growth during this tenure,” he said.
Also speaking, Managing Director, Falcon Corporation Ltd., Prof. Joseph Ezigbo, said energy represented the catalyst for development of any economy seeking to grow and its absence was akin to running a car on a flat tyre.
Ezigbo decried some challenges encountered by gas suppliers and urged that deliberate efforts should be made toward addressing such challenges.
He reiterated the need to develop gas infrastructure as it was crucial to achieving domestic gas utilisation goals.
Mr Ojo Emmanuel, Representative of the Minister of Power and the Director, Energy Resources, Federal Ministry of Power, said the importance of gas in the Nigerian economy could not be over-emphasised.
According to him, gas is a potent source of electricity generation that will sustain the much-needed power for national development.
”Addressing climate change alongside achieving sustainable development objectives is core to the approach to power sector investments.
”Natural gas has a role as the energy transition fuel for rapid economic growth and industrialisation.
”Given the interdependence of the gas and power sectors, there is a need for a coordinated approach to policy formulation and implementation by both sectors.
”This is to achieve the government objective of improving the energy security and reducing energy poverty,” he said.
The Director-General of ACCI, Dr Victoria Akai, called on industry players to utilise the outcomes of this summit to foster a more dynamic domestic gas industry in Nigeria.