Chief Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources says the implementation of the National Gas Expansion Programme (NGEP) will create 12 million direct and indirect jobs across the country.
A statement issued on Tuesday by Mr Justice Derefaka, Technical Adviser on Gas Business and Policy Implementation to the Minister, said Sylva made the assertion at the recently concluded Ministerial Mandate Performance Scorecard Review Session.
Sylva said: ” In terms of impact, the NGEP will create over 12 million direct and indirect jobs and human capacity development nationwide.
“I, hereby declare NGEP as the flagship programme of the ministry based on the outstanding work the committee is doing.
“I have surrendered my vehicles to the NGEP to convert all to dual fuel with use of either Auto Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) or Auto Condensed Natural Gas (CNG).
“And on that premise, I now have the moral standing to direct that all Chief Executive Officers and their able lieutenants do same by converting all their official vehicles to run on autogas.”
According to him, this will demonstrate to the Nigerian people that the government meant it when it declared this year “The Year of Gas”.
He said other programmes initiated to boost gas usage in the country include the Nigeria Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme (NGFCP) and flag off ~odd~ of the National Gas Transportation Network Code (NGTNC).
Sylva said it also include the ongoing Marginal Field Bid Round, flag off of the construction of the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) gas pipeline and Committee on Gas Sector-Wide Review of the Domestic Gas Pricing Framework.
“These programmes and activities are geared towards achieving the mandate handed to us by Mr President.
“It is therefore my earnest hope that we will carefully drive these programmes and activities to a logical conclusion, ” he said.
Also, Dr Abner Ishaku, Technical Adviser, Downstream to the Petroleum Minister, said the promotion of gas as replacement fuel will also save the nation the much-needed Forex expended on imported fuels.
Ishaku noted that it would provide alternatives to Premium Motor Spirit , Automotive Gas Oil and Dual Purpose Kerosene for Nigerians.
On his part, Derefaka said the initiatives were geared towards making Nigeria the hub of gas production and utilisation on the African continent, in addition to optimising the nation’s enormous gas potential.
Derefaka said: “The world is gradually turning away from crude oil to gas to drive their economies. Our collective efforts should be putting all machineries in place to make gas a critical catalyst to our economic development.
“The approach should include the diversification of our economy, efficient management of revenues, commitment to local value addition in the gas industry.
“In the long run, a sustained decline in the price of oil may not be a bad thing for Nigeria as this may push us to diversify our economy using gas and away from dependence on oil.”
Derefaka, who is also the programme Manager, NGFCP said Nigeria need to use gas and invest in critical sectors of our economies such as education, health, infrastructure and agriculture.
According to him, this will provide a solid base for industrialisation, local value addition, economic development and sustainable growth.
Derefaka said gas has a leading role as a key enabler to the diversification and growth of Nigeria’s broader economy through adequate power generation, provision of feedstock for value-adding manufacturing, and increased government revenue from LNG.