The Oil and Gas Industry is creating an enabling environment that would enable investors to contribute their quota towards making Nigeria’s abundant natural gas resources serve as launching pad for the nation’s industrialization take off.
Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, the Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Maikanti Baru, as well as some critical Industry stakeholders arrived at this consensus while speaking at the Nigerian Pavilion on the sidelines of the ongoing 27th World Gas Conference (WGC) taking place in Washington, United States.
Dr. Kachikwu, who was represented by Dr. Folashade Yemi-Esan, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, said it was imperative for Nigeria to market its enormous gas resources at the global level because “we have to get our industries to work.”
The Minister noted that ideas, experience and lessons learnt from other countries at the conference would spur Nigeria to dismantle all obstacles which, over the years, have been slowing down the nation’s gas-to-power aspirations and industrialisation.
“Without power, we cannot have industrialization in our country. We are therefore committed to making the best use of what we have in terms of gas potentials and ensure that gas, indeed, drives the power sector,” Kachikwu stated.
On his part, Dr. Baru said NNPC was driving a number of initiatives which included collaborating with the National Assembly to address the fiscals; putting the required infrastructure in place as well as ensuring that new power plants are built.
“We are keen on using some of the new projects like the 614km Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano Gas Pipeline Project to open up not only the gas corridor but also ensure that power plants that are built can inject stability into the national grid,” Baru explained.
The GMD stated that as part of the new gas development initiatives, investors were expected to come in and establish fertilizer and petrochemical plants.
“On our part, we are keen on ensuring the sanctity of all our contracts. This, surely, will ultimately kick-start our industrial development,” he added.
Also speaking, the Chairman Senate Committee on Gas, Senator Bassey Albert Akpan, lauded the GMD for his support towards ensuring Nigeria’s successful outing at the conference, adding that engagements such as this would create the enabling environment for potential investors.
He said as legislators, the National Assembly is currently working on the fiscals and the administration aspects of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), having already passed the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) which he said was awaiting Mr. President’s assent.