Increase The Utilisation of Gas Potentials, Experts Tasks FG
Oil and gas experts have urged the Federal Government to pay more attention on utilising the massive potentials in gas, as an alternative to Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) also known as petrol if the country must move forward.
Speaking at a policy dialogue on Reporting the Oil and Gas Sector in Lagos, Ronke Onadeko noted that gas was not only a cheaper means of powering cars, factories and other relevant machineries, but it would drive more investments, create more job opportunities and save government a lot if money from foreign exchange.
While advising the Nigerian government to take a cue from other countries working towards transiting from crude oil to gas so as not to be caught unawares, she stressed that the market for crude oil was shrinking with less people wanting oil, adding that the conversion from petrol to gas would happen in a matter of time.
In her words: “We must move our mindset from thinking we are stuck in importing petroleum products and that there must be subsidy. We can transit by moving our cars from petrol to gas, our industries from diesel and other fossil fuels to gas and we can move our generators and public transport to gas.
“I am not saying the federal government should make a law asking everybody to convert to gas, we are doing better; the trains are coming up, public transport should change to gas, the federal government can ask every state government to assist to make that happen.
“Our natural resource abundance is in gas not oil, by the time we have series of changes like that you will find out that we are utilising more of our gas and because we don’t have to import it, we are going to be saving government foreign exchange, gas investors will start investing in gas infrastructure and all kind of things around gas.
“It will open up new business opportunities employment will rise let’s move, expand, adapt because the world is changing, other countries are already doing it. While telling us about deregulation, government should give us a time table and the plans they have mapped out because there are going to be challenges, the transition is not going to be smooth. On his part, another oil and gas expert, Henry Adigun, who said government’s better understanding of the sector would yield more gains, said Nigeria could make much more money from gas than crude oil.
“We could create additional 35,000 jobs from gas, if gas were working properly, electricity cost will be much cheaper and nigeria would have much leverage.”
He urged government to back up the several declarations of 2020 as a year of gas, by putting the right fiscal policies in place to attract and encourage investment in gas, adding that the local consumption of gas must be increased saying, “What determines gas production is the market; you don’t produce something for a market that does not exist.”
On the clamour for local refineries, Adigun explained that producing crude oil locally does not guarantee price efficiency. While noting that the problem was the supply and not the refinery, he said Nigeria’s refineries at good capacity would not meet 40 percent of consumers.