FG considers powering 774 councils via gas
The Federal Government, through the National Gas Expansion Programme (NGEP), is to provide at least one gas megawatt power supply 24 hours weekly in each of the nation’s 774 councils.
Also, the operators intend to create 700,000 jobs soon.
Making the disclosures yesterday in Owerri at the closing of the two-day Imo State Consultative Forum, NGEP’s Chairman, Dr. Mohammed Ibrahim, remarked that the decision was to boost power supply in the country.
He allayed fears that natural gas was unsafe, stressing: “Natural gas is safer than petrol.”
Ibrahim said Imo had been identified as one of the states lagging behind in usage of the product, expressing optimism that with the support of Governor Hope Uzodimma, the NGEP would soon begin entrepreneurship training for people below 40 with Higher National Diploma (HND) and Degree on the utilisation of gas through associated products.
He also informed his audience that gas could be converted to power for both generators and cookers.
The NGEP boss unveiled the framework of the project starting from this year to include, “Roll Out the Gas Entrepreneurship Scheme; Roll Out NGEP programme in various states across the nation; deepen gas utilisation through the one megawatt per local government area; Roll Out Micro Distribution Centre (MDC) and a scheme for deepening domestic programme.”
He hinted that the trainers would be drawn from the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) and the National Content Development Monitoring Board (NCDMB), while the beneficiaries would get stipends alongside startup packs and tools within 90 days of the conclusion of the training.
According to him, the trainees would be exposed to fabrication of gas accessories such as stoves, cookers, kiosks and burners among others.
Ibrahim observed that since the state has large deposits of natural gas, it must harness the resource profitably in partnership with the NGEP.
He hailed Lagos and Kano states for buying in.
Decrying the inhibiting factors to the growth of entrepreneurs, the chairman pointed out that the mission of his organisation was to crash prices of energy.
“We want to bring down the prices of energy. We need to train half a million. We are not oil and gas producing country, we are an exporting nation also.
“We are the largest exporter of LPG. We are also the largest importer of the commodity.”
He regretted that Niger Republic overtook Nigeria in this direction.