Tosin Thompson, CEO of Mezovest, has charged the federal government to price local gas for local demand in naira amid the ongoing Forex crisis.
He made this known at the Avalon Policy Dialogue on Gas where he spoke on how efficiencies in the gas sector can lead to wealth and job creation.
“There is no reason why gas that is sourced locally, for local demand, should be priced in dollars,” said Thompson.
The CEO also added that increased participation of small businesses in the gas distribution network could lead to cost efficiencies.
“When more small businesses come into the ecosystem to participate in the distribution of gas, you’re creating efficiencies, reducing and eliminating arbitrage. And we will see prices come down,” said Thompson.
He further stressed the need for the government to focus on regulation and tax collection while allowing the private sector to drive efficiencies.
Many operators in the sector have called on the FG to forgo paying for gas with dollars in Nigeria. The Nigerian Gas Association is also championing this development.
Speaking at the event, Folarin Lajumoke, Executive Director Exploration and Production at BUA Group, said that “There is the need for comprehensive policies that promote local gas usage, which could contribute significantly to economic growth and energy sustainability.
He said the lack of infrastructure in the gas sector was a prominent concern. “We need to build gas pipes that connect processing plants to markets across the country as that is what will make investments in this sector attractive.”
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In addition, Folarin admitted that the opportunities in Nigeria are vast – due to high demand, and capitalising on this demand could drive economic development and energy security.
Folarin decried the level of investment in the sector, stating that the government needs to make the country investment-friendly. He said that “once investors can see a route to market, investment will follow.”