Subsidise gas to stimulate industries, Donald Duke tells FG

A former governor of Cross River, Donald Duke, says natural gas can become stimulant to industries nationwide if the Federal Government subsidises the cost and makes it more available and affordable to consumers.

Duke gave the advice at the 43rd pre-convocation lecture of the Ahmadu Bello University on Friday in Zaria.

The lecture was titled, “This is your time: Set forth in confidence and with haste.’’

The former governor said should the Federal Government consider the option it would strengthen the country’s quest to achieve global industrial competitiveness.

He said that the move would also crash the high cost of goods and services in Nigeria.

Duke stressed that inadequate investment in the energy infrastructure was one of the mitigations for small and medium enterprises in the country.

According to him, the problem in Nigeria is not about the resources but the will to do the right thing.

“I come from the part of Nigeria that does have money but if they are determined to make things happen, they do happen. The Niger-Delta was a single large gas pollutant in the world; until recently, we flared a gas equivalent to 25 million litres of diesel every day. If we could harness gas and distribute it throughout the country it could serve as a good stimulant for companies in terms of reducing the cost of power.

“In Nigeria, power energy consumes about 40 per cent of the cost of production averagely, if you can save that 40 per cent and reduce it to 10 per cent, then Nigerian goods would be more competitive with imported goods,’’ he said.

He, however, lamented that factories were closing down in the country while their cost of production makes their goods to be more expensive than imported goods.

The former governor therefore urged the government to use the abundant gas to make Nigerian goods and services more affordable.

Earlier, the Chairman of the occasion, Dr Suleiman Ndanusa, urged the graduands to absorb the speaker’s knowledge from the topic he presented.

He stated, “As you embark on the new charter of your life, the road to success is rarely a straight line hence beware of blockages and setbacks that may come your way.”

He said the challenges and setbacks they may encounter was to further strengthen and equip them with the necessary skills to face the country’s challenges. 


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