FG moves to deepen gas utilisation in Nigeria
The Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), has begun engaging with stakeholders to deepen the use of Liquefied Natural Gas (LPG) in the country.
Mr Ogbugo Ukoha, the Executive Director, Distribution Systems, Storage and retailing Infrastructure, NMDPRA said this at a meeting with stakeholders in the midstream and downstream sector in Port Harcourt on Wednesday.
The meeting had the theme “Stakeholders Engagement on Gas Utilisation in Nigeria.
Ukoha said the Federal Government had taken actionable steps to ensure that businesses and companies in Nigeria move from diesel to gas as an alternative source of energy.
“So, to actualise this, we have met with stakeholders in Lagos, Enugu and we are now in Port Harcourt to actualise this shift. Next stop is Yola, Kano and Abuja.
“We want the heaviest users of diesel to bring themselves within the regulatory space as well as consider converting to gas as their source of fuel.
“This is because gas is cheap and ultimately a cleaner source of energy. We want everyone to begin to see gas as the transition fuel,” he said.
He said the per capita consumption of gas in Nigeria was 5kg compared to Egypt’s 80kg per capita.
“What this means is that if you distribute the consumption to our population, each of us uses only 5kg per person when we can get a lot more.
“It is unfortunate considering that we have gas reserves of about 208.6 trillion cubic feet – which if ramped up can take the country for about 90 years,” he said.
Ukoha attributed some of the challenges inhibiting the growth of gas utilisation and penetration in the country to the “entry barrier and high initial capital outlay.
He said it was difficult to convince poor Nigerians that use firewood to cook, to abandon their firewood and instead acquire a gas cooker and cylinder to prepare their meals.
“However, the Federal Government has in the last few years come up with programmes such as the Gas Expansion, and the Decades of Gas Programmes to bridge this gap.
“Also, the Petroleum Industry Act, established within NMDPRA as a gas infrastructure fund, to enable more investments within this value chain and see that gas is delivered cheap to Nigerians.
“Nigeria is a signatory to treaties on environmentally friendly energy sources, and so, gas has been designated as our transition fuel implementable between 30 years to 50 year time frame,” he said.
Also speaking, the Executive Chairman of Rivers branch of the Petroleum Product, Retail Outlet Owners Association of Nigeria (PETROAN), Sir Francis Dimkpa, commended NMDPRA for taking actionable steps to deepen LPG utilisation in the country.
He said there was a need for the Federal Government to look inwards and adopt local technologies for use in the gas industry.
“We are happy that Nigeria has taken a major step toward deepening gas utilisation and penetration in the country.
“However, there are still several challenges bedevilling the industry that range from regulation issues; policy summersault; high cost of doing business abd access to facilities, among others.
“NMDPRA wants us to move from diesel to gas but this can be fast achieved if we use local technologies to solve our local needs,” he said.
Dimkpa said the adoption of local technologies for use in the industry would bring down the cost of doing business, and as such, crash the price of LPG in the country.
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