FG to Prioritise Gas Development for Domestic, Industrial Use – Kachikwu

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Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu

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EMMANUEL Ibe Kachikwu, minister of state for Petroleum, has said that the mission of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration is to make the gas sector “to be an attractive gas-based industrial nation, giving primary attention to meeting local gas demand requirements, and developing a significant presence in international markets.”

Besides, Kachikwu said the government would make the utilisation of natural gas for domestic needs with the power sector as the priority end-use sector. “However, it is also desired that demand from the industrial, commercial, transportation and industrial sectors,” he added.

According to him, “The attainment of these projects will not only broaden the economy; related industries will grow out of these projects, such that jobs and other multiplier benefits will follow. This is the direction we must follow.

The minister who spoke at the 10th International Gas Conference and Exhibition in Abuja, on Monday, October 31, said: “Most of the investment required in the sector will be drawn from the private sector. The government will set the environment and support investors with appropriate interventions to bring their projects to fruition.

“Hence, our policy challenge is to develop a policy, institutional, legal, regulatory and fiscal framework that is attractive to the private sector.

The minister similarly spoke about the institutional reforms that would translate aspirations of government “into results will commence with the strengthening of the policy making and surveillance capability of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources by introducing new technical resources, restructuring existing departments will be restructured, and assignment of additional mandates.”

According to the minister the reforms are clearly articulated in the proposed National Gas Policy, will be further clarified by legislation.

In addition, he disclosed that that the government was already in the process of completing a draft legislation of the Petroleum Industry (Reform) Bill, which would “address the institutional and regulatory reforms necessary for the petroleum sector as a whole.”

He said: “With respect to the gas sector, the draft bill will capture the key positions in the gas policy, including addressing the current gap in the Petroleum Act by providing clear rules for the exploration, development and utilisation of gas. It will also address other issues that are of critical importance to Government and investors, such as: the issue of gas flaring, gas pricing, wholesale gas market development, and the basis for licensing of activities throughout the gas chain.”

—  Oct 31, 2016 @ 18:40 GMT

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