Chief Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources on Thursday said the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) will unlock several midstream gas opportunities and enhance domestic gas utilization in the country.
Sylva spoke at the ongoing 12th Nigerian Gas Association (NGA) International Conference 2021 in Lagos.
The minister said Federal Government was ready to collaborate with all stakeholders to initiate national activities that would make Nigeria actualise its declaration of 2021-2030 as the “Decade of Gas Development’’.
The theme of the conference is: “Powering Forward: Enabling Nigeria’s Industrialisation via Gas.”
Sylva who was represented by Mr Justice Derefaka, his Technical Adviser, Gas Business and Policy Implementation, said that Nigeria’s over 200TCF proven reserves of natural gas must be utilised for economic growth and development.
He said: “Our efforts will continue to focus on gas to transmute Nigeria from the conventional dependence on white products to a cleaner, more available, accessible, acceptable and affordable energy use in gas.
“This will not only cushion the effects of current deregulation, but also create enormous jobs opportunities for Nigerians.
“For this reason, we are proposing grand fathering in the new PIB.
“The proposed PIB now before the National Assembly, when passed will also unlock several midstream gas opportunities to further enhance domestic gas utilisation
“The revised PIB framework is based on core principles of clarity, dynamism, neutrality, open access and fiscal rules of general application.”
According to him, the priority of President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration is development of Nigeria’s vast gas resources and strengthening of the gas value chain as encapsulated in the National Gas Policy of 2017.
Sylva said the president had outlined some strategic priorities for the ministry aimed at stimulating the sector.
He said this was to foster the sustainability of the Nigerian economy, enhance energy availability, create well paid jobs, and take millions of Nigerians out of poverty.
“As a government, we are pursuing programmes to grow our gas economies through the development of industrial and transport gas markets, in juxtaposition with gas-to-power initiatives,” he added.
The minister listed some of the government’s achievements to include construction of the 614 kilometres Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) pipelines, inauguration of National Gas Expansion Programme and commencement of the Nigeria Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme.