NMDPRA Targets Gas Utilisation to Cut High Cost of Doing Business

April 19, 2023
cost of doing business Nigeria

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) has disclosed that the country’s natural gas exploitation and utilisation would help cut down the cost of doing business by 40 per cent.

Its chief executive, Mr Farouk Ahmed, at a one-day stakeholders engagement on Gas Utilisation in Nigeria, said that it has become important for companies and homes to key into gas utilisation as alternative fossil fuel.

Mr Ahmed, who was represented by Mr Ogbugo Ukoha, the Executive Director, Distribution, System, Storage and Retailing Infrastructure of NMDPRA, enjoined Nigerians to massively adopt the usage of gas as against diesel and petrol for their daily energy needs.

He said that this would reduce the nation’s carbon footprint and tackle global warming as well as climate change.

“It will also help to reposition the economy for sustainable growth and accelerate job creation since gas is believed to be the future of the nation’s economy,” he noted.

Mr Ahmed said that the essence of the engagement was to encourage large consumers of petroleum products to become aware of the comparative advantages between the different fuels, particularly gas, which he added had been designated as Nigeria’s transition fuel.

He explained that to promote gas usage and investment, the federal government had various initiatives and policy frameworks which included the National Gas Expansion Programme (NGEP) and the Decade of Gas Programme.

He observed that the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021 had also enabled investments in the industry.

Mr Ahmed expressed gladness that the government effort was yielding significant results but added that more collaborations were needed to improve domestic gas utilisation.

The NMDPRA boss reiterated that Nigeria was blessed with abundant gas reserves, enough to last the nation for the next 90 years.

According to him, effective gas utilisation will make the nation become richer and the environment safer because it is much cleaner than other petroleum derivatives.

He said another great benefit of gas utilisation was the tendency to reduce the cost of doing business by 40 per cent.

Mr Ahmed called on heavy consumers of energy to convert their diesel generators to gas engines, saying that it was cost-effective.

He also advised consumers on the need to be properly licensed because of the numerous benefits attached.

These, he noted, include ensuring the safety of facilities and regular supplies of the product from the authority.

Delivering a keynote address, Mr Ogbugo Ukoha, the Executive Director, Distribution, System, Storage and Retailing Infrastructure of NMDPRA, said that many institutions were ‘heaviest consumers’ of diesel and have been identified as operating outside the regulatory oversight, which is not in accordance with the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).

Mr Ukoha, who was represented by Mr Ayo Cardoso, Coordinator, South West of NMDPRA, said the engagement was enlightenment on the need to obtain the requisite petroleum storage urgently.

Mr Ukoha said the exercise was to take advantage of the evolving opportunities in the gas value chain for sustainable business growth.

He said the enactment of the PIA 2021 was designed to enable Nigeria to derive more value from its natural gas.

According to him, Nigeria is embarking on different initiatives, projects and policies to enhance the performance of the oil and gas sector.

He said one of the gas initiatives in Nigeria includes the NGEP, which was designed to provide framework and policy support to extend the gas supply and utilisation in power generation, gas-based industries and emerging niche gas sectors.

“Such sectors are gas in transportation, Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) for cooking and remote virtual gas supply using trucks to convey LNG and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) to industries,” he said.

He noted that natural gas was projected to be the leading fossil fuel and well-positioned as a sustainable fuel for an effective energy transition.

Also speaking, Mr Oladipo Olatunbosun, National President of the Nigerian Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers (NALPGAM), said that the unaffordability of LPG posed serious challenges to the common man.

Mr Olatunbosun urged the authority to review the pricing of cooking gas to attract more utilisation and penetration.

He appealed to NMDPRA to sanction all illegal LPG skid operators within their operational cycle to create opportunities for legitimate marketers.

Adedapo Adesanya

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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