The Nigerian Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme (NGFCP) is yet to achieve its mandate of providing growth for the power sector years after it was launched by the Federal Government, it was gathered at the weekend.
The initiative was launched in 2016 by the former Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, to re-process flared gas, to make it available to thermal power plants for electricity generation, provide jobs in oil producing communities, drive investments, stimulate economic growth, among others.
It was gathered that operators of the 24 thermal plants were yet to access gas for production, a development, which has further compounded the problems of the sector that survives on less than 5,000 megawatts (Mw) of electricity.
The Chairman, Society of Petroleum Exploration (SPE), Mr Joseph Nwakwue, said the gas policy is yet to achieve its goals of stimulating the growth of the sector, as power plants are starved of gas for production.
He urged the Federal Government to make use of the opportunities in the gas sector, stressing that efforts must be geared towards making judicious use of gas.
He said: “Lots of the effort have gone into increasing gas monetisation but results have been dismal. We think the opportunities in the gas sub-sector are enormous and can be unlocked with the right end-to-end commercial framework; issues around gas pricing, fiscal terms, infrastructure, market structure, payment assurance etc needs to be resolved urgently to accelerate market development and value capture.
‘’I had once said to a colleague that while we had missed the “oil boat”, we could yet ensure we did not miss the gas boat’.”
According to him, NGFCP is a novel solution to a major problem.
Flaring, Nwakwue, said is not only wasteful with severe environmental consequences, but also undermines ability of the operators to do well.
He said SPE considers the NGFCP as a step in the right direction and will continue to support it.
It would be recalled that the Federal Government has embarked on gas flaring activities, especially in the Niger-Delta, region. This has assisted the government in saving the sector a lot of money in recent times.
Source: The Nation