From Uche Usim, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has assured that his administration will leverage Nigeria’s robust gas resources, currently estimated at 600 trillion standard cubic feet, to urgently industrialise and diversify the economy away from petroleum, gradually being discarded for cleaner energy sources from gas.
This was as the Secretary-General of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Mr Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, hinted that projections show that from now till 2045, global investments of more than $12 trillion will be needed in the upstream, midstream and downstream in the gas sector.
Speaking in Abuja on Monday as he virtually launched “The Decade of Gas in Nigeria” initiative Buhari noted that the rising global demand for cleaner energy sources has offered Nigeria an opportunity to exploit gas resources for the good of the country.
He noted that all the opportunities provided by gas will be fully explored.
The President told participants at the Pre-Summit that while his administration has prioritised gas development and recorded remarkable progress, it is well known that Nigeria is a gas nation with a little oil, although the country has focused on oil over the years.
‘‘That is the paradox that this administration decided to confront when we declared the year 2020 as “The Year of Gas” in Nigeria.
‘‘It was a bold statement to demonstrate the resolve of this administration that gas development and utilisation should be a national priority to stimulate economic growth, further improve Nigeria’s energy mix, drive investments, and provide the much-needed jobs for our citizens in the country.
‘‘Before the declaration of Year 2020 as The Year of Gas, this administration had shown commitment to the development of Nigeria’s vast gas resources and strengthening of the gas value chain by reviewing and gazetting policies and regulations to enhance operations in the sector as encapsulated in the National Gas Policy of 2017.
‘‘Our major objective for the gas sector is to transform Nigeria into an industrialised nation with gas playing a major role and we demonstrated this through enhanced accelerated gas revolution,’’ he said.
Enumerating what his administration has done to energise the sector, Buhari said the development of gas infrastructure has commenced along with the domestic utilisation of LPG and CNG, as well as the process of commercialising gas flares, development of industrial and transport gas markets, and increasing gas to power.