The Chairman, National Gas Expansion Programme, (NGEP), Dr. Mohammed Ibrahim, has advised the Nigeria Government to exit Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and join Oil and Gas Exporting Nations instead.
Dr. Ibrahim popularly called MM made the call on Friday 25th while delivering a paper themed, ‘’ Autogas/Electric Vehicles As Alternatives at the 2023 Annual Training Workshop of Nigeria Auto Journalists Association (NAJA).
Dr. Ibrahim described Nigeria’s global status as an oil and gas producing nation as a misnomer.
“Nigeria is not an oil and gas producing country,” he pointed out, adding, “Nigeria is oil and gas exporting country. There is a difference because 80% of our production is in the hand of foreigners, less than 10% of what Nigeria produces in term of hydrocarbon is actually done by Nigerians. Which mean that if IOCs shut down today, Nigeria will have no capacity and does not have the capacity to produce beyond 100 barrel per day.
‘’That is the major energy security issue. It’s a major national security issue and it happened during COVID 19 in 2020; zero production was experienced in this country, because the expatriate left the country. So, Nigeria is not metaphorically an oil and gas producing country. Nigeria is oil exporting country. We need to understand that, otherwise we are deluding ourselves as being oil and gas producing country. In fact, Nigeria should exit OPEC and should join oil and gas exporting nations.’’
According to the NGEP Chairman, the nation has always focused on oil production, putting natural gas on the second position.
He warned that as long as Nigeria continues to treat gas as a bi-product that is not needed, something that ought to be exported out of the country, the nation would never move forward.
“Looking at the gas resource that the country has, Nigeria’s natural gas should be a catalyst for the nation’s survival and economic rebirth; but the reverse is the case, because we relegated gas to the background,” he lamented, adding, “It is the reason why it is imperative for the country to have National Gas Expansion Programme.”
NGEP Chairman, who described Nigeria as a metaphoric nation of ocean of gas with a drop of oil, said there is hardly any area that has elementary basin in Nigeria without any form of gas.
He explained: “There are areas where you may not find oil. But there is hardly any area where you cannot find gas. That is the gem that God almighty has endowed in our country.
“As a nation with ocean of gas, what Nigeria has as reserve in comparison to what it produces is so massive. We are producing infinitesimal of gas compared to what we have as reserve. 40% of what we even produce is exported in the form of NLG, which means 41% are dedicated for export.
On what NGEP has done to deepen the utilization of gas as a vehicular fuel in Nigeria, Dr. Ibrahim stated: ‘’From the onset, the NGEP Committees recognized and facilitated the emplacement of enablers to deepen the penetration and success of the Autogas Program. This include reviewing of existing regulations and removal of bottlenecks, carrying out audit of existing retail-out for co-location of multi-fueling system, fiscal incentives to facilitate the speedy processing of Import Duty Exemption, Establishment of partnership with Private and Government Institutions to build capacity on Autogas conversion technicians, securing of single digit intervention fund for the construction of required infrastructure and, demystification of the Autogas conversion technology through reverse engineering.’’
He commended President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for putting a stop to the petroleum subsidy regime.
According to him, if Nigeria had not removed subsidy on diesel earlier, the nation’s economy would have collapsed.
“Imagine if there had been no subsidy on diesel and gasoline, Nigeria economy would have been completely gone, ‘’ he said.
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