Nigeria Taking Steps To Develop Gas Resources- Says Sylva

The minister of state from petroleum resources,Timipre Sylva, says the government is taking steps to expand and develop its huge gas resources through enhanced gas exploration, development, and utilisation schemes.

Sylva said this at the 10th-year anniversary celebration of West African Gas Pipeline Company Limited (WAPCo), themed ‘Driving regional energy’, held in Lagos on Friday.

The minister, represented by Adedapo Odulaja, his chief of staff, said Nigeria had approximately 209 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of proven gas reserves, with a potential upside of 600TCF.

“This is well placed to take a leading role in providing the much-needed gas,” Sylva said.

“Furthermore, the recently enacted Petroleum Industry Act (PIA 2021) will undoubtedly support Nigeria’s, and indeed the global, endeavor to eliminate energy poverty as envisioned in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG).

“The Act has generous incentives to enhance the development, distribution, penetration, and utilisation of gas, even as it incentivises entry into the midstream.”

Sylva said Nigeria and Africa would play a leading role in the energy transformation in order to achieve net-zero emissions with natural gas playing a pivotal role.

He advised the government to, therefore, persist in expanding the natural gas industry towards global economic recovery and shared prosperity.

Sylva said the establishment of WAPCo represents the region’s effort at self-development and energy security.

He noted also, that the objective of the West African Gas Pipeline (WAGP) project at inception, amongst others, was to improve the competitiveness of the energy sectors in Ghana, Benin, and Togo.

“This is by promoting the use of cheaper and environment-friendly natural gas from Nigeria in lieu of solid and liquid fuels, for power generation and other industrial, commercial, and domestic uses,” Sylva said.

“10 years down the line, the WAGP has literally become the poster child of economic integration in West Africa.

“The synergy that created this fellowship of industry players, under the public-private partnership banner, is the type we currently preach as an administration.”

Greg Germani, managing director, WAPCo, said from conception through to the operational phase of the WAGP, Nigeria had constituted an integral part of its value chain.

He said Nigeria shared resources with the rest of the sub-region.

“I also salute the vision and courage of ECOWAS and the commitment it took to navigate the complexities of forging a bond of four diverse nations, with two private concerns, to create this outstanding example of partnership and collaboration,” Germani said.

“As we travelled the entire stretch of the pipeline system, celebrating the successes and achievements of the WAGP and sharing our stories, I could only pause to marvel at the human spirit.

“10 years of operations will certainly come with obstacles and challenges.

“However, WAPCo is now an efficient and dependable natural gas transporter to customers in Benin, Togo, and Ghana, supporting safe, cleaner, efficient, long-term, and secure power generation from gas supply sources in both Nigeria and Ghana.”

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