Stakeholders in the gas sector on Tuesday called for a holistic approach to fixing Nigeria’s gas crisis, especially with the lingering supply shortage and price increment.
The stakeholders identified insecurity, naira depreciation, and lack of a workable pricing template as some of the factors affecting the development of Nigeria’s gas sector.
They spoke during a panel session on the topic:” Harnessing the Opportunities in the Nigerian Gas Sector,” at the 2022 Nigerian Oil and Gas (NOG) conference in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that those who spoke included Mr. Roger Brown, the Chief Executive Officer, Seplat Energy Plc, Mr. Phillip Mshelbila, Chief Executive Officer, Nigeria LNG Ltd., and Mr. Ed Ubong, President, Nigerian Gas Association ( NGA).
Brown said Nigeria was blessed with abundant gas resources but needed the right investments to maximise opportunities in the sector.
He said: “There’s a wall of money ready to come into this country, but they look at barriers to it and one of the biggest barriers is the currency.
“So, currency convertibility you know, bringing equipment in dollars and then having a mainly Naira revenue stream.
“These things are fixable. We need to get those right there in any amount of big projects and really exciting projects. And what I like about the economics here in Nigeria is that they are unbelievably good.”
Rogers said with the majority of Nigerians lacking access to energy, it was a huge opportunity for both local and foreign investors to come into the sector.
He said the $700 million ANOH Gas Processing Company being constructed by Seplat and the NNPC at Asaa, Ohaji/Egbema, in Imo State was near completion.
Rogers said the project when completed would provide gas to boost the much-needed supply of power to millions of homes and businesses across Nigeria to facilitate a better standard of living and drive economic growth.
Also, Mshelbila said there was the need for a collaborative and comprehensive solution to the issue which was already captured in the Decade of Gas Plan of the Federal Government.
He said: “What many people may not be aware of is that we actually have the plan captured in the decade of the gas framework.
“It’s an excellent piece of work. It has looked at the demand side of natural gas in Nigeria, domestic and export.
“It has looked at the supply side, then looked at infrastructure, and then it has looked at the commercial or economic framework that is needed to address all of this. And it has outlined very specific things that need to be done to address it.”
The NLNG boss said the plan included the construction of gas pipelines, the ongoing NLNG Train 7 project as well a gas-to-power initiative that would drive industrial growth in the country.
On his part, Ubong tendered an apology to Nigerians for the scarcity of gas in the country, especially within the last six months.
“There is not enough gas for cooking, so the cooking gas prices have gone up. There is not enough gas to fire the terminal plant, so there is virtually no electricity,” the NGA president said.
He said it was very clear that upstream players were not happy with the legacy debts that they were being owed for gas supplied for power generation.
Ubong said: “My appeal to the Federal Government is let’s find a way and pay this money so that there will be peace.
“It is my suggestion that the Federal Government should then hold upstream producers.
“The government can thereafter say, ‘I have defrayed my debt, you must then bring the gas volumes that you promised so that there will be enough supply in the country.”