President Bola Tinubu on Friday pledged his administration’s commitment to leverage gas to develop Nigeria’s struggling economy.
The president, who stated this at a meeting with the board and management of the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Limited, Abuja, said plans were afoot to leverage domestic utilisation, processing and international export of Nigeria’s gas resources as a transition fuel to catalyse the fundamental restructuring of the nation’s economy for expansive growth during his tenure.
President Tinubu also affirmed that all encumbrances to the entrepreneurial progress and development of Nigeria’s industrious citizens, as well as any further impediments to business practice in the oil and gas sector, specifically, will be swiftly removed to create more opportunities for Nigerian companies and international partners to thrive on the natural and human resource bestowed on the nation.
“It is now a collaborative effort in thinking and doing. We will work with all partners to redefine the future of our economy,”
The president told the NLNG delegation led by Edmund Daukuru, the NLNG board chairman, who is also the natural ruler of Nembe Kingdom and the NLNG managing director, Philip Mshelbila.
President Tinubu affirmed the position of natural gas as Nigeria’s gateway to sustainable development and prosperity, pledging to build a partnership with investors that will guarantee job opportunities and skill development for Nigerian youths in the overriding best interest of the oil and gas producing environments.
“It is all about growing the pie so that Nigerians will benefit,” the President said, adding that “skill development will help the many restive youths who need to be carried along and employed. Their lives need to be more predictable and prosperous.
President Tinubu appreciated the difficulties faced by the NLNG, particularly on security, affirming that stakeholders, including the host communities and security agencies, will play more central roles in the resolution of troublesome points of contention for more peaceful and profitable operations on a sustainable basis
In his remarks, the chairman of the board told the president that the frustrations faced by non-government stakeholders in operations were being collectively shared with the government and that the communities should play a greater role in ameliorating the situation, noting that issues of trust between investors and host communities must be properly handled with an emphasis on end-to-end process inclusivity.
Mshelbila and the delegation congratulated the president for winning the 2023 Presidential elections and setting the tone early and aggressively with bold and correct, long-term reforms which will transform the Nigerian economy within a short period of time.
He further stated that the company had provided a new standard of efficiency in Nigerian public and private sector partnership that is worthy of emulation.
While noting the contribution of more than $1bn to new tax revenue generation in 2022, the NLNG chief executive emphasised that this was achieved despite NLNG operating significantly below capacity, due to regional insecurity, in addition to changing industry tax modifications introduced by successive Finance Act amendments, of which they heartily commended the president’s recent action to suspend the impediment-inducing provisions in recent weeks.