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Stakeholders list path for growth, recovery and prosperity for gas industry post-COVID-19

Stakeholders have suggested ways by which the Nigerian gas industry can survive after experiencing COVID19 as they urged the government to stimulate the industry to engender competition, get a regulator to oversee the activities of operators, stimulate gas market and framework.

According to them, the challenges of gas price, infrastructure and gas transmission should also be comprehensively addressed to create a vibrant industry.

The stakeholders who spoke at a Webinar conference organised by the Nigeria Gas Association (NGA) with a theme “Natural Gas Road Map for Nigeria’s Recovery, Growth and Prosperity” stated that fiscal system and terms for gas anchored on stimulation of supply growth would be the way out of the doldrums already created by COVID-19.

Austin Avuru, managing director of Seplat Petroleum Development Company, said there was the need for the completion of the various infrastructural projects embarked upon so many years ago.

He mentioned the OB3 gas pipeline, Ecravos -Lago Pipeline2, noting that the delay in completion of the projects had affected companies’ investment in the gas sector.

He said Nigeria must have a change of the mind-set that sees oil and gas as rent-seeking assets to an enabler of the economy, stressing that there was the need to encourage domestic gas consumption.

This is the time to fix the loose end as regards gas infrastructure is important, he said.

Contributing, David Ige, former group executive director, Gas and Power, Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said currently the economy faces a tough outlook with declining revenue.

He said if the country wanted a vibrant gas industry something must be done about the cost of production of gas and that there must be a targeted policy intervention that supports secondary industries for the purpose of the county’s industrialisation.

He also said the gas infrastructure should be attended to so the commodity can be taken to where it is needed for use for industrial purposes. The power sector challenges, he stressed should be addressed so that the sector can be serviced effectively by gas sellers.

An effective supply of gas will act as a catalyst to secondary industry, he said.

In all these, the former NNPC boss said the passage of the Petroleum Industry (PIB) is critical to the issues.

Audrey Jeo Ezigbo, president, Nigeria Gas Association (NGA) in her opening remarks, noted that Nigeria is a major exporter of gas, yet she is struggling to meet her domestic consumption and therefore called for the diversification of the economy.

Gas, she said, is a key driver to industrialization as it serves as feedstock to other industries such as the power and fertilizer subsectors amongst others. She called for ramping up the domestic gas utilisations by focusing on in-country channelisation for gas.

Nigeria should bring back the attractiveness of gas, the NGA boss said.

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