Nigeria lost over N225 billion ($1b) potential revenue to gas flaring in the last twelve months as it flared about 295 billion standard cubic feet of natural gas in nine months alone.
The Lead Director, Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), Eze Onyekepere, who made the eye-popping disclosure in Abuja on Monday while speaking on implementation of the Nigerian Gas Master Plan (NGMP), said the volume of flared gas in the country could fuel about 7000 mega watts of efficient thermal electricity plant.
According to him, oil companies operating in the country flared a large proportion of the gas produced from January to September 2014, leading to a staggering loss of over a billion dollars or N225 Billion.
The CSJ boss added that going by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), data, “about 295 billion standard cubic feet of natural gas was flared in the nine-month period.”
His words: “Nigeria flares about 1.2 billion cubic feet (bcf/d) of gas per day, which could fuel about 7000 megawatts of efficient thermal electricity power, over 1,400 agro-processing facilities, 350 textile plants, 70 fertilizer plants with opportunities for creating over one million jobs,” Mr. Onyekepere said.
He attributed the failure of the 7th National Assembly to pass the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) to produce a “comprehensive implementable energy policy”, as the major cause of loss of huge sums of revenue.
The CSJ, however, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to “revisit the PIB and represent it to the National Assembly for quick action”. The body urged that the PIB be split into four parts because of the bulky nature of the bill, with the part dealing with gas isolated and immediately passed into law.
Onyekepere argued further that Nigerians should be encouraged to participate in funding of the gas master plan which is estimated to consume about $25 billion. While noting that the country’s inability to end gas flaring in the past was due to lack of political will, the CSJ Lead Director said “the government, with the industry stakeholders should fix a definite time frame to end associated gas flaring and fully implement the gas re-injection Act, with the new rules carrying stiff sanctions for defaulters.”
By Olisemeka Obeche