The Minister of State Petroleum Resources (Gas), Rt. Hon. 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, 6th February, 2024.
The minister said the meeting was aimed at harnessing 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 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.
Rt. Hon. 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 with a view to bridging the significant gas supply gaps which 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, including the AKK Gas Pipeline Project, the OB3 Gas Pipeline Project and the ANOH project, 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.
The Minister expressed optimism that the conversations over the course of the engagement would lead to developing a comprehensive roadmap for the sector, strengthen the bond between the public and private sectors, unlock opportunities and build a durable gas sector capable of making Nigeria the regional industrial hub and power house.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Amb. Nicholas Agbo Ella, in his remarks, noted that 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, policy makers, 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 stakeholders 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).