The Minister of State Petroleum Resources (Gas), Ekperikpe Ekpo has called for an open and constructive dialogue as pathway to securing a thriving future for Nigeria’s gas sector.
The Minister made the call in his opening address at a Stakeholders’ Consultative Meeting held in Abuja on Tuesday.
The purpose of the meeting, according to the Minister, was to harness the collective wisdom, experiences and insights of key players in the energy sector to secure a sustainable and thriving future for the gas sector of the Nigerian economy.
He noted that the energy landscape was evolving rapidly, hence the decisions reached by industry stakeholders and players would impact generations to come.
Ekpo assured the gathering of his commitment to developing an adaptable roadmap that would reflect their collective intelligence.
“We will listen attentively, learn collaboratively, and act decisively to create an environment that fosters growth, innovation and sustainable development”, the Minister stated.
He declared that his office would intensify efforts to increase upstream gas production to bridge the significant gas supply gaps that had continued to hamper strategic economic sectors, prioritize the domestication and penetration of Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG), and commit to the completion of major gas infrastructure and projects like the AKK Gas Pipeline Project, the OB3 Gas Pipeline Project and the ANOH project among others to enhance efficiency and capacity of the gas sector.
While affirming the status of Nigeria as one of the leading gas-rich countries of the world, he decried the country’s inability to unlock the full potential of the resource due largely to gas flaring, inadequate infrastructure, pricing concerns, policy and regulatory gaps, limited funding, environmental concerns, urgency for a smooth energy transition as well as lack of comprehensive gas development blueprint.
Despite the myriad of challenges in the gas energy sub-sector, Ekpo expressed optimism that the conversations throughout the engagement would lead to developing a comprehensive roadmap for the sector and strengthen the bonds between the public and private sectors as well as unlock opportunities and build a gas sector that stands the test of time and makes Nigeria the regional industrial hub and powerhouse.
In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Nicholas Ella, said, the essence of the engagement was to deliberate on identified problems and proffer solutions to move forward in the quest to achieve set goals.
The Permanent Secretary added, “Our collective vision for a maximum dividend from the gas resources requires the collaborative efforts of industry leaders, policymakers, experts, and advocates”.
In their separate presentations, stakeholders called on the government to view LPG as a social commodity as against a profiting commodity for the masses and ensure its availability and accessibility.
Heads of stakeholder bodies that were at the meeting and made presentations included; Oil Producers Trade Section (OPTS), Independent Petroleum Producers Group (IPPG), Nigerian Gas Association (NGA), Nigeria Liquified Petroleum Gas Association (NLPGA), Nigerian Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers (NALPGAM), Liquefied Petroleum Gas Retailers (LPGAR), Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) and Association of Local Distributors of Gas (ALDG) among others. Oluwakemi Ogunmakinwa Mrs. Deputy Director (Press and Public Relations) 6th February, 2024.