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Senate to review Nigerian gas master plan

By on May 8, 2013

The Senate has said it will carry out a comprehensive review of the country’s gas master plan because it was not carried along in the drafting of the policy document.

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Gas Resources, Senator Nkechi Nwaogu, who spoke with our correspondent during the ongoing Offshore Technology Conference in Houston, Texas, United States, complained that the committee was not in any way consulted to add its input to the policy document drafted by the Ministry of Petroleum.

She said neither herself nor any member of her committee have had access to the document.

As such, Nwaogu said the gas master plan would be comprehensively reviewed along with the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill, which she said would be passed before the end of the year.

The Federal Government had said that the country had the potential to become the undisputed regional hub for gas-related industries within the next three years if the master plan was fully implemented.

President Goodluck Jonathan had recently said that the full implementation of the gas master plan would result in about $25bn worth of investments in gas processing, transmission and downstream gas utilisation projects.

He said, “Beyond the quantum of foreign direct investment, the economic impact of this agenda will be enormous. In terms of employment and wealth creation, we estimate that over 100,000 engineering design and construction related jobs will be created from about 2012 and beyond to deliver all these plants.

“The strategy we have adopted for the fertiliser project means that we can expect a significant increase in employment from the agricultural sector. In total, this initiative will result in over 500,000 direct and indirect jobs from construction, logistics, hotels and hospitality services, fabrication, banking, and above all, agriculture.”

While assessing the progress of the Federal Government’s initiative to drive investment in the gas sector, key operators in the country’s oil and gas industry noted that the initiative had lost its original drive and would need to be swiftly bolstered by the government to achieve its expected objectives.

The Managing Director, Oando Gas and Power Limited, Mr. Bolaji Osunsanya, in a paper titled: ‘Domestic gas market: Challenges and opportunities for expanding gas utilisation,’ which he presented at the 2012 edition of the Nigerian Gas Association’s International Gas Conference and Exhibition in Abuja, said the plan was now static and contract awards were now hanging.