Nigeria loses $680m to gas flaring yearly
Stakeholders Seek Environment Friendly Leaders
Ahead of the 2023 general elections, stakeholders in the oil and gas industry have urged Nigerians to identify and vote candidates who are environment-conscious and have the political will to enact laws that will mitigate the effect of gas flaring in the country.
The stakeholders made the call following a revelation that the country was losing about $680m to the menace annually.
They spoke at a political dialogue themed “Accountability for Gas Flared and Clean Energy Advocacy Project,” organised by the Centre for Transparency Advocacy, in conjunction with other cluster organisations, and sponsored by United States Agency for International Development (USAID), in Abuja. The project is anchored by Initiative for Community Development (ICD), Warri, Delta.
The Project Monitoring Officer of Murna Foundation, Bashir Mukthar, in his remarks said that the country loses $680m annually in penalty fees to International Oil Companies (IOCs), due to discrepancy in the reported volume of gas flared declared.
Mukthar attributed this to lack of adequate technology to track the exact volume of gas being flared, as the Nigeria Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has to rely on figures provided by the IOCs, who usually under-declare in order to evade payment of adequate penalty fees.
ICD’s Programme Manager, Ufuoma Asheshe, described gas flaring as the burning of natural gas associated with oil extraction.
She said that CSOs must engage Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to prevail on politicians to see how they could include in their agenda, efforts to tackle gas flaring in the country when elected.
“There must be political will on the part of our leaders to tackle gas flaring,”Asheshe said.
While decrying the effect of gas flaring, Asheshe said that reports indicated that Nigeria was one of the top seven gas-flaring countries in the world.
She added: “Nigeria is a major gas flarer/global Green House Gas Emission. Only in 2018 and 2019, Nigeria lost $680m to gas flaring.
“We have a lot of things that we need money to do in this country and we are just losing money like that. There is huge economic, environmental and criminal implication to Nigeria.”
She urged the Federal Government to show proactiveness in dealing with environmental degradation due to oil exploration in order to tackle the health and economic hazards of gas flaring.
On her part, the Executive Director, CTA, Faith Nwadishi, said that the objective of the dialogue was to facilitate the elimination of the discrepancy in the volume of gas flared.
“It also aimed at ascertaining and tracking penalty payment for gas being flared by the IOCs
The Secretary, Garki Traditional Council, Lazarus Nyaholo, said Nigerians need to open their eyes widely and elect leaders who have knowledge of gas flaring, illegal mining and the effect of uncontrolled escavation of the earth crust, who will be able to make proper laws that will safeguard the environment and the lives of host community.