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$5bn annual gas earnings unimpressive—FG

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By Abraham Adekunle

A lot of investments are needed to grow the Nigerian gas sector.

The Federal Government of Nigeria has declared that it was not impressed by the $5 billion earned by Nigeria annually from natural gas, given the huge potential in the sector. Nigerian Vice President, Senator Kashim Shettima, who disclosed this at the 6th Valuechain Energy Magazine Annual Lecture & Awards in Abuja, pointed out that Nigeria earnings was a mere 40 percent of what Egypt earns from gas despite the fact that Egypt gas reserves is about 30 percent of Nigeria.

Shettima, who was represented by the Special Adviser to the President on Energy and Power Infrastructure, Office of the Vice President, Mr. Sodiq Wanka, said that a lot of investments are needed to grow the gas sector to its full potential. He warned that if these investments were not made, the gas supply gap in the country could grow to as much as 10 billion scuff feet per day by 2030. The Vice President noted that the story of Nigeria gas riches and potential cannot be complete without understanding that the country is far off from that potential and its people have a lot of work to do, as public sector leaders and as captains of industry.

Developing the gas sector integral to Nigeria energy transition plan.

Reiterating that Nigeria earns around $5bn from gas production, he said that the figure is 40 percent less than in Egypt, which has around 30 percent of Nigeria’s reserves. Nigerian production-to-reserve ratio is less than a third of Egypt’s, less than a quarter of Algeria’s and around 10 percent of Malaysia’s. “In the aftermath of the Russia-Ukraine war, the EU and many other nations were shopping for LNG at the same time that Nigeria largest LNG assets were operating significantly below capacity because the gas supply was inadequate,” he revealed.

While expressing the government’s determination to ensure that the necessary gas infrastructures were put in place, he added that one only needs to look at the number of power plants and factories that have built up around the Escravos-Lagos-Pipeline System and its various spurs to appreciate the urgency required. Earlier, the Publisher/CEO of Valuechain Media Group, Mr. Musa Bashir Usman, called for collaboration amongst industry players and the government to move the sector forward. He explained that the sixth lecture with the theme “Midstream Gas Development: A Pathway to Energy Transition” seeks to highlight the critical importance of developing the midstream gas sector as an integral part of our energy transition journey.

Tinubu will present the 2024 budget to NASS in two weeks.

“To achieve our energy goals as a nation, we must consciously invest in infrastructure that facilitates the smooth transition of gas production from the upstream value chain to the downstream end,” he added. As well, in his remarks, the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, commended the Federal Government, the NNPC Limited and others involved in the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano gas pipeline project. He pointed out that the project which runs through communities, states and cultures would harness economic linkages along the corridor.

Meanwhile, President Bola Tinubu will present the 2024 budget to the National Assembly in the next two weeks. The president will also submit the supplementary budget for 2023 to the National Assembly for consideration. The Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriation, Senator Solomon Adeola, who made this known during the inaugural meeting of the committee on October 25, 2023, stated that the National Assembly would ensure that the 2024 budget is passed before December 31, 2024.

Change in government contributed to the delay in budget submission.

Senator Adeola said, “I know we have it on good authority that the supplementary budget would be sent by the Executive in the next couple of hours to the National Assembly.” Talking about the delayed presentation of the budget by the president to the National Assembly, Adeola said that the change in government was a significant factor that should be considered. He said that he wants Nigerians to take cognizance of the change of government on May 29, 2023. Adeola, however, promised that irrespective of the lateness in the submission of the 2024 budget, the Senate would do a thorough job.

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