Chinazor Megbolu |
The Federal Government has said the ongoing gas expansion project will boost employment opportunities in the country.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Timipre Sylva disclosed this during the just concluded Ministerial Mandate Performance Scorecard Review Session.
Sylvia, in a statement signed and issued on Tuesday by the Technical Adviser on Gas Business and Policy Implementation to the Minister, Mr. Justice Derefaka, disclosed the implementation of the National Gas Expansion Programme (NGEP) will create 12 million direct and indirect jobs in Nigeria.
“In terms of impact, the NGEP will create over 12 million direct and indirect jobs and human capacity development nationwide.
“I hereby declare NGEP as the flagship programme of the ministry based on the outstanding work the committee is doing.
“I have surrendered my vehicles to the NGEP to convert all to dual fuel with use of either Auto Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) or Auto Condensed Natural Gas (CNG).
“And on that premise, I now have the moral standing to direct that all Chief Executive Officers and their able lieutenants do same by converting all their official vehicles to run on autogas,” Sylvia said.
He explained further the initiative will demonstrate to the citizenry that the government meant business with the declaration this year as “The Year of Gas”.
Sylvia pointed out that other programmes initiated to boost gas usage in Nigeria includes; the Nigeria Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme (NGFCP) and flag-off of the National Gas Transportation Network Code (NGTNC).
He maintained that others are the ongoing Marginal Field Bid Round, flag-off of the construction of the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) gas pipeline and Committee on Gas Sector-Wide Review of the Domestic Gas Pricing Framework.
According to him; “these programmes and activities are geared towards achieving the mandate handed to us by Mr. President.
“It is therefore my earnest hope that we will carefully drive these programmes and activities to a logical conclusion”.
Meanwhile, Derefaka also noted that the initiatives were geared towards making the country a hub of gas production and utilisation on the African continent.
He, however, buttressed the project will optimise the country’s enormous gas potential.
“The world is gradually turning away from crude oil to gas to drive their economies. Our collective efforts should be putting all machineries in place to make gas a critical catalyst to our economic development.
“The approach should include the diversification of our economy, efficient management of revenues, commitment to local value addition in the gas industry.
“In the long run, a sustained decline in the price of oil may not be a bad thing for Nigeria as this may push us to diversify our economy, using gas and away from dependence on oil,” Derefaka said
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