October 12, (THEWILL) – The Federal Government has reiterated its readiness to use gas to help fast-track the country’s industrialisation agenda.
Speaking at a dinner with the diplomatic community in Abuja, Minister of State Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, said gas was the only single energy source that could help Nigeria diversify the economy.
The Minister, in a statement issued on Wednesday, by his Senior Adviser, Media and Communication, Horatius Egua, said gas was the sure way for Nigeria to bridge its energy gap.
He said Nigeria had a proven gas reserve of 206 TCF with a potential upside of up to 600 TCF.
“The answer is not far-fetched: Energy is the basic resource for national socio-economic development and it must be secured at all times.
“As a result of its rising impact on national security and economy, the need to safeguard energy and ensure availability, reliability and affordability has made energy diplomacy an essential part of every country’s foreign cooperation.
“It is important to stress that Nigeria’s vehicle of choice on the energy transition journey is natural gas.
“Much has been done towards harnessing this huge potential to provide the energy needed for our growing population in terms of power generation, transport, feedstock for industries and clean cooking solutions.
“It is disheartening that Nigeria is still energy-poor despite our enormous energy resources, which include over 200 TCF of proven natural gas reserves with a potential upside of up to 600 TCF”, he said.
He decried the fact that the majority of people still lacked access to reliable electricity and clean cooking fuels, adding that the pursuit was to significantly reduce this menace, with the hope of ending energy poverty in Nigeria soonest.
Sylva said in order to reap the benefit of its gas resources, authorities had deepened on natural gas utilisation under the National Gas Expansion Programme (NGEP).
“We have rolled out the Autogas scheme with the aim of displacing Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) with Compressed Natural Gas and Liquefied Petroleum Gas. This will reduce PMS use and minimise CO2 emissions,” he added.
The minister lauded the passage of the Petroleum Industry Act 2021, saying “it is a game changer” for the oil and gas sector.
He said the industry had undergone positive reforms with the PIA’s passage which paved the way for new investment, jobs, and economic and energy diversification and placed Nigeria in a position of being able to support the world’s rising energy demands.
Sylva called on the international community to support Nigeria’s effort at maximising it’s resources in the face of global energy transition plans.
He said Nigeria will continue to use the Nigeria International Energy Summit (NIES) to accelerate the global energy transition agenda as it continues to promote energy efficiency and renewable technologies.
“It is also fast becoming a platform for showcasing engineering and technological breakthroughs in the energy sector”, he said.