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Nigeria needs $20bn annually for gas expansion —NEITI Executive Secretary



Imo communities cry out over gas flaring, plead for govt intervention

The Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Dr Orji Ogbonnaya, on Monday said that Nigeria requires $20 billion annually to achieve the desired gas expansion plan in order to bridge the country’s gas infrastructure.

Orji said this at the policy dialogue on Nigeria’s Decade of Gas Action plan in Abuja, adding that given the shrinking fossil fuel investment landscape, clarity was required for infrastructure to be prioritised.

The dialogue was organised by the African Initiative for Transparency, Accountability and Responsible Leadership (AFRITAL) in collaboration with the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI).

Ripples Nigeria reports that the Federal Government, in December 2020, rolled out the National Gas Expansion Programme (NGEP) to deepen the use of natural gas and make it a preferred form of cleaner, cheaper energy for both personal and industrial use.

Orji, in his remark at the dialogue, said Nigeria had the largest gas reserves in Africa and the ninth-largest globally with gas reserves of over 200 trillion cubic feet (tcf).

“The Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) provides the most significant progress for the gas sector in strengthening governance and providing fiscal frameworks for the sector’s growth.

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“The gas utilisation plan should show the market-driven opportunities that would successfully translate the gas plans into sustainable economic development.

“For the gas utilisation policy to work, there is a compelling need for deliberate ambitious investment in its infrastructure. This includes specific connectivity across upstream facilities to processing, power plants and other end uses.

“The network code provides a framework through third-party access to resolve some of the connectivity issues but to a large extent, achieving the desired gas expansion will require an estimated $20 billion annually,” Orji said.

While noting that a new concept analysis would be required to demonstrate the new approaches the government intends to embrace to deliver on the gas infrastructure, he recommended that the Federal Government should develop and publish a detailed, realistic, coated and comprehensive gas policy with clear roles for the state, and non-state actors and time lines to track periodic progress.

Orji further urged government to develop an industry-specific linkage between the integrated gas policy with Nigeria’s energy transition policies with a supporting action plan built on a robust monitoring and evaluation framework to track implementation.

He also called for a detailed plan to end gas flaring through a private sector-led commercialisation programme and pursue an open, competitive and transparent gas flare commercialisation programme.

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