Nigeria defies global stand on gas utilisation
…Ige, Akinosun push for knowledge expansion in value chain
Despite the push by climate activists and developed countries to displace fossil fuel, including natural gas for renewable energies, Nigeria will continue to explore the resource to meet its energy security.
Stakeholders, including Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Group Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, Mele Kyari, noted that developing gas resources for industrial development remained sacrosanct for Nigeria given the prevailing energy crisis.
They spoke in Abuja during the launch of a book titled ‘Understanding Natural Gas: A Nigerian Perspective’ which was written by Dr. David Ige and Dapo Akinosun.
Despite standing at about 208 trillion standard cubic feet and projected to be worth over $803.4 trillion, Nigeria has not been able to monetise its gas resources as infrastructure and knowledge gaps threaten the utilisation of the resource.
Millions of Nigerians still lack access to electricity, Osinbajo said, adding that developed nations must allow Nigeria to continue to explore gas r to the betterment of the country.
“We must embrace the opportunity to harness our vast natural gas resources responsibly and judiciously, and while simultaneously charting a path towards a cleaner and greener future.
“It is important that we must emphasise that while climate change is an existential threat, our energy poverty and our development are posed to be a major threat.
“We must also assure our compatriots in the Paris agreements and other agreements that the use of gas as a transitional fuel will not significantly derail our commitment to carbon negative growth,” Osinbajo said. He said the push to phase out fossil fuels and discourage new investments in related projects must push Nigeria to move fast in harnessing gas resources.
The Vice President noted that the country’s Energy Transition Plan offers fresh hope for solar and renewable energy, adding that the plan is to develop 250GW of solar power by 2060.
Also speaking at the event, Kyari noted that the role of gas remained critical for the nation’s economic growth, adding that the national oil company would focus on developing the resources, especially through the decade of gas policy.
CEO of GasInvest Limited, Ige, who is the author of the book, decried the knowledge gap in the gas business in Nigeria. According to him, the book would not only expand the gas frontier in Nigeria but assist young legal professionals to understand the sector better.
Ige, a former Group Executive Director for Gas and Power at NNPC, said that policy work on the NNPC gas master plan, his university teachings, his pursuit of a holistic approach to gas, infrastructure, and commercial framework, among other things, were his main motivators and sources of inspiration.
He thanked the co-author for seeing to it that the book’s material was adopted for its applicability to legal practitioners, especially the young players who would be breaking into the natural gas business for the first time and industry professionals.
The co-author and founding partner of SimmonsCooper Partners, Akinosun said that Osinbajo, who was once his lecturer, propelled the book.
He said the vice president had motivated him years ago to venture into Gas Law.
“Even though gas was not popular then I went on the journey. How to find materials on gas and learn about it became a challenge,” he said..