Amid the global quest for energy transition away from fossil fuel, the Nigerian Gas Association (NGA) on Thursday urged Nigerian Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to shift their attention to gas-fired generators in line with thé drive for cleaner alternative energy sources.
The President of NGA, Ed Ubong, spoke during a panel discussion on the theme: “Harnessing Opportunities in the Nigerian Gas Sector” at the just concluded Nigerian Oil & Gas Conference in Abuja.
Ubong urged the Federal Government to institutionalise gas-powered generators usage for public parastatals and private entities that used generators of more than 250 KVA capacity.
The NGA, a group of oil and gas industry professionals focused on the development of gas resources spoke through its Publicity Secretary, Odianosen Masade in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
Ubong acknowledged the growing adoption of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) as an alternative source of energy among Nigerians across the country.
In spite of the scarcity of gas in the country, resulting in the price of 12.5 kilogramme cylinder of gas rising to about N10, 000, Ubong said the government was making progress on the regulation of the industry with the ongoing work on the gas policy, which has been going for over a decade.
He said the review of the gas policy involves a holistic action plan by critical stakeholders in the country to update it in line with globally accepted standard.
The NGA President assured that given the efforts by the government, the narrative would soon change, as the investment made by all would soon yield dividends.
“We are making progress in deepening gas consumption across the country,” Ubong said.
“The private stakeholders are doing their part as evidenced in the massive projects being commissioned.
“Federal Government is also encouraging the adoption of gas as an alternative source of energy as demonstrated in the recent launching of 20 gas-powered buses by the Head of the Civil Service to convey civil servants from their abodes to their offices in Abuja.
“There is still CNG input pricing concerns raised by CNG operators to enable the sector which needs to be addressed urgently. The downside, however, comes in the form of the cooking gas scarcity that the nation is facing.
“We have been experiencing an acute shortage of gas for the past six months and its effect is keenly felt across all sectors, including cooking gas, gas to industries and gas to power plants for electricity generation.”
Ubong said the scarcity posed a massive challenge to the gas sector as efforts need to be stepped up to accelerate the activation of initiatives already in place, to ensure that not only the domestic gas needs were met, but also unlock the export markets.
These initiatives, Ubong said, would undoubtedly boost the national economy as it would serve as a major source of revenue, while reducing oil dependency.
He appealed to the government to fast-track the clearing of the legacy gas supply debts in the power sector as it was an impediment to progress.
As soon as the government removed the obstacle, Ubong maintained that it could hold private stakeholders accountable for the promises they made to boost the sector capacity with more gas supply.
For members of the NGA, the government should seek innovative solutions for the sector, while end-users must adopt gas as a viable and clean alternative source of energy during this decade of gas declared by the government.
Ubong commended the Nigerian Content Development & Monitoring Board (NCDMB) for embracing gas-fired generators to power its headquarters office in Bayelsa.