Flying on the wings of gas ~ by Femi Adesina
By the time we remove hatred, malice, indecent politics, and all the ills that plague our country and its leaderships across different governments, President Muhammadu Buhari would go down in history as the one that pioneered different kinds of revolution in our national life: agriculture, infrastructure (roads, rail, bridges, airports, etc), and the latest: gas.
In fact, Nigeria is set to fly on the wings of gas, courtesy President Buhari.
But let me give due credit for the headline of this piece, which is the brainchild of Mr Tony Attah, Managing Director of Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG).
At the conference on the Decade of Gas, flagged off by the President on Monday, Attah declared:
“Gas is now everything for Nigeria. We must use what we have to get what we want. Saudi Arabia and Dubai used oil to move their economies to becoming one of the best in the world. Qatar has used gas to transform from a fishing economy to global gas giant. Nigeria has both oil and gas.
“However, Nigeria has thus far ridden on the back of oil for over 50 years, but the time has come for Nigeria to FLY on the wings of gas.”
Time to fly on the wings of gas. So creatively put.
President Buhari, Minister of State, Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva, Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mele Kolo Kyari, and Attah of NLNG spoke at the opening ceremony of the conference. An aggregate of the points they collectively made gave a panoramic view of the prospects gas holds for Nigeria.
The submissions are in bullet points below, for easy comprehension and appreciation:
*Nigeria is a gas nation, with little oil, in comparison. But the country has focused on oil over the years.
*To stimulate economic growth, further improve the energy mix, drive investments, and provide much-needed jobs for our citizens, gas development and utilization must be a national priority.
*The major objective of the Buhari administration is to transform Nigeria into an industrialized nation, with gas playing a major role.
*The administration has kickstarted projects like the National Gas Expansion Program, Auto Gas policy, and the construction of the 614km Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano pipeline.
*There’s a rising global demand for cleaner energy, as opposed fo fossil fuels, and Nigeria has a potential of 600 trillion cubic feet of gas, the most extensive in Africa, and in the top 10 globally.
*NLNG contributes about 1% to GDP, and recorded $114 billion in revenues over the years, $9billion in taxes, $18 billion in dividends to the Federal Government, $15 billion in Feed Gas Purchase, all achieved with 100% Nigerian Management and 95% Nigerian workforce.
*Gas will become the dominant fuel for generating power in Africa, and the world at large. It presents a great opportunity for Nigeria.
*In the area of domestic utilization of gas to power the economy, there’s a chronic shortage, a narrative that must be changed over the next decade.
*We must deal with the energy poverty in the country. We must find a way to unlock the natural gas potential of Nigeria, and drag over 120 million of our people out of energy poverty.
*The world will add 2 billion more people by 2040 to become about 9 billion people on earth. Energy demand is expected to grow by 30%
*Gas is set to be the fastest growing transition fuel of the future. Global Natural Gas consumption is projected to increase by more than 40% by 2050.
*The next decade should be time of elimination of gas flaring, a decade of more domestic Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), and a decade of fully gas-powered economy.
*Gas is power and energy. It is transport, as in Auto Gas. It is petrochemicals-feed stock. Gas is manufacturing and industries, it is also food, from fertilizers.
The Decade of Gas Conference is a prelude to the Nigeria International Petroleum Summit (NIPS), billed to hold in June.
The truth remains the truth, that President Buhari is steadily and progressively touching different phases of our national life, and causing transformation to occur, despite stiff challenges in the area of security .In the words of Winston Churchill, “Truth is incontrovertible. Ignorance can deride it, panic may resent it, malice may destroy it, but there it is,”
Adesina is Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity.