‘Gas-to-power challenges may confront incoming government’
INDICATIONS have emerged that the incoming government would need a strong political-will to tackle the challenges of gas supply to the power plants, due to huge infrastructure deficit.
The Minister for Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who disclosed this as an international forum recently, said the solving the gas-to-power problem would take some pretty good years.
“We have lots of gas but we don’t have the pipelines to transport it to electricity plants. We have encouraged private investors to come in. It will take a couple of years before we see progress,” she said.
The Minister however disclosed that the electricity challenge was a big constraint on Nigeria’s growth.
The incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan, who has left a footprint in the power sector, is expected to officially hand over to the President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari on May 29. There are high expectations on how the incoming government would tackle the electricity supply shortfall and the intrigues of privatisation.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, (NNPC), has also confirmed that despite the annual investment of millions of dollars in the last four years in gas supply and infrastructure, there is need for significant addition to infrastructure and supply development.
The Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr. Joseph T. Dawha, was quoted in a statement as saying that with its immense gas potentials, Nigeria “need not be and must not be a victim of price drop, instead we should position to benefit from it”.
Dawha however urged the industry players to brace up for the challenges ahead.
He said, “It brings to our collective consciousness the potential in Nigerian domestic gas sector. We can turn the gloom inherent in low price into a breakthrough for gas based industrialization of Nigeria,”
Identifying the corporations efforts in recent past, the NNPC boss said: “The Nigerian gas sector has seen tremendous focus in the last few years.