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Nigeria needs $30bn for gas production - Senate

By The Rainbow
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The Chairman, Senate Committee on Gas Resources, Senator Nkechi Nwaogu says 30 billion dollars is required for the development of infrastructure to achieve daily gas production target by 2015.

Nwaogu said this in Abuja on Monday, at the opening of a National Conference on Gas Resources organised by the Senate Committee on Gas Resources.

The three-day conference themed: 'Deepening Domestic Utilization of Natural Gas and Routine Flare Elimination', was aimed at creating an appropriate forum for stakeholders to find ways to increase domestic use of natural gas and to eradicate gas flaring.

She noted that the low utilisation of natural gas in Nigeria was due to the insufficient production and distribution infrastructure, which resulted into flaring of about 1.4 billion cubic feet of gas daily.

'The legislature and the executives have been collaborating to ensure total eradication of the regulatory, operational and commercial problems in order to attract greater investment into the sector.

'In achieving this bold aspirations, this committee is of the view that Nigeria will require huge investments from local and international communities in human-capital, finance and technological innovation.

'A significant investment of over 30 billion dollars in infrastructure is needed to achieve Nigeria's target of producing 3.4 billion cubic feet of gas daily by 2015,' she said.

Senate President, David Mark urged all stakeholders in the oil and gas sector to ensure that Nigeria's gas resources are used for sustainable development of the people.

Mark said that stakeholders in the exploration of the nation's abundant gas resources should focus on creating opportunities that would improve the lives of the people and the various communities.

He noted that the effective exploration of the gas resources would not only engender the massive creation of new job but would also serve as a launch pad for the revival of nation's industrial sector.

'I need to stress that the gas revolution is not just about hydrocarbons and wealth,' Mark who was represented by the Senate Minority Whip, Sen. Abu Ibrahim said.

'It is also about human beings and the betterment of the lives of people, their communities and the entire society.

'We have to explore the varying opportunities of this revolution and chart a sustainable way forward for the development of our people.'

Also speaking, the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, said Nigeria was at a turning point in the history of gas exploration which would yield commendable results soon.

Represented by the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Andrew Yakubu, said the Ministry had embarked on several strategies to encourage gas production, supply and consumption.

She said the Ministry had continued to spearhead various interventions to stimulate development of infrastructure to ensure gas utilisation for economic growth.

She urged stakeholders to accelerate the infrastructure delivery to explore alternative means of boosting private sector investment in infrastructural delivery and supply development.

'Our strategy for gas is to leverage the full potential of gas to achieve massive impact on the economy and the Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

'A robust infrastructure is the minimum requirement for supply and market growth.

'We are also reviewing the gas transmission pricing to ensure that it is also commercially adequate to support private investment in infrastructure.'