From Uche Usim, Abuja
Nigeria recorded a major milestone in its ongoing efforts to reduce over-dependence on oil as the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) have signed a 20-year Gas Sale Aggregation Agreement (GSAA) with Total Exploration and Production Nigeria, Gas Aggregation Company of Nigeria (GACN) and Greenville LNG Limited.
The deal will see trucks and other machinery that hitherto ran on diesel being fuelled by Liquified Natural Gas (LNG). It also aims at ensuring adequate gas supply nationwide at uniform cost. The agreement will also ensure cleaner environment and create more jobs for Nigerians. Under the agreement, Greenville LNG will introduce the first 100 per cent LNG fuelled trucks with a fleet of 750. It will also establish a series of LNG fuel stations across Nigeria on major highways.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, said the development was first of its kind in the history of Nigeria. According to him, gas will now be moved in trucks at cheaper cost than via the pipelines that have come under severe attacks in recent years.
The Minister said the use of pipelines will now be minimal as the initiative takes root, adding that “this agreement will unlock huge economic opportunities for the country. It currently produces 2,200 cubic meters of gas but it has the capacity to produce 5,000 scuf of gas. It will ensure the direct supply obligation of gas suppliers are met because some of them have not been able to execute their mandate.
“This initiative is part of our 7 Big Wins programme and since President Muhammadu Buhari came onboard, we were given the mandate to unlock the gas potential of the country and reduce dependence on oil. This programme has been in the works for three years running. We set up different companies including the marketing arm of gas division of the NNPC. This project was also realised because of the calm we somewhat enjoy in the Niger Delta region. Without the relative peace, this cannot work. It is coming just few months after we launched the new gas policy.”