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Nigeria’s rich gas resources catalyst for industrialisation, says Buhari

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President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, stressed the place of gas in Nigeria’s quest for industrialisation and economic diversification.

He regretted that the West African country, widely recognised as a gas nation, had focused on oil over the years.

Buhari, who was speaking in Abuja at the launch of “The Decade of Gas in Nigeria”, noted that it was against this background that his administration had prioritised gas development for economic diversification and industrialisation.

Setting the tone for the growth of the industry in the next ten years, the President said given the country’s 600 trillion cubic feet of gas, the commodity has enormous potential to diversify Nigeria’s economy.

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He told the virtual Nigeria International Petroleum Summit (NIPS) 2021 Pre-Summit Conference and the gas launch: “The rising global demand for cleaner energy sources has offered Nigeria an opportunity to exploit gas resources for the good of the country. We intend to seize this opportunity.’’

In a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, the President said: “That is the paradox that this administration decided to confront when we declared the year 2020 as ‘The Year of Gas’ in Nigeria.

“It was a bold statement to demonstrate the resolve of this administration that gas development and utilisation should be a national priority to stimulate economic growth, further improve Nigeria’s energy mix, drive investments and provide the much-needed jobs for our citizens in the country.”

He continued: “Before the declaration of Year 2020 as ‘The Year of Gas’, this administration had shown commitment to the development of Nigeria’s vast gas resources and strengthening of the gas value chain by reviewing and gazetting policies and regulations to enhance operations in the sector as encapsulated in the National Gas Policy of 2017.

“Our major objective for the gas sector is to transform Nigeria into an industrialised nation with gas playing a major role and we demonstrated this through enhanced and accelerated gas revolution.”

Enumerating what his administration had done to better the sector, the President said the development of gas infrastructure had commenced along with domestic utilisation of LPG and CNG besides commercialising gas flares, developing industrial and transport gas markets as well as increasing gas to power.

“We also kick-started other policies and projects like the National Gas Expansion Programme, Autogas policy and the construction of the 614km Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano gas pipeline.

“After a thorough review of these laudable achievements and successes in the gas space, we acknowledge that Nigeria still has more work to do in the gas space.

“This has led the Federal Government to begin a more proactive push towards gas development. This initiative will ensure further optimal exploitation and utilisation of the country’s vast gas resources,” he added.

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