The Federal Executive Council has approved a national gas policy aimed at reducing Nigeria’s dependence on crude oil by increasing gas exploration and facilities.
According to a statement by the Ministry of Petroleum Resources on Wednesday, the nation will need to implement far-reaching reforms to drive the new policy thrust.
The 100-page policy document, titled the “National Gas Policy,” which was given final approval on Wednesday after it passed through a series of inputs by all the relevant agences at previous FEC meetings, is to set up a single independent petroleum regulator, in line with ongoing reforms in the sector.
For decades, Nigeria has relied mainly on sale of oil to international buyers with minimal dependence on gas for its overall economic growth, said officials of the ministry.
For the transitional period, the policy will seek to further divide the Nigeria Gas company making it separate from various marketing companies as to achieve market-led gas pricing result.
Nigeria has the world’s ninth largest proven gas reserves, at 187 trillion cubic feet.
The move is to use gas revenue and to reduce the drain on foreign exchange by reducing importation of refined oil products in Nigeria.
If the policy succeeds, it could lead to improved energy, reducing the frequency of power outage in the country.
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