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Nigeria will continue to rely on natural gas as a transition fuel — Sylva


Nigeria will continue to rely on natural gas as a transition fuel for key power generation while pursuing renewable for off-grid power, Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources has said.

Mr Sylva disclosed this at the Pre-summit conference of the Decade of Gas, The event holds virtually and physically tagged “The Decade of Gas; Towards A Gas Powered Economy by 2030,” held in Abuja, on Monday.

“In spite of the global shift to renewables, Nigeria will continue to rely on natural gas as a transition fuel for key power generation while pursuing renewable for off-grid power,” he said.

He said, “I must say it is a very enlightening day for me, I have learnt a lot from the expert but from all that has been said one thing is very clear, as a country we went in the wrong direction in the oil and gas business since the 1950s but is not too late.”

“From all that has been said, as usual, we tried to trade blames, who was responsible? Some will say it’s from the government side, that the investors decided to focus on oil, and where they found gas they shut it and concentrated on developing oil.

“So, that sector was not explored adequately, then from the investor side they will say the physical framework was not there to enable the development of investment in the gas sector,” Mr Sylva said.

“But today, I want to also say that the solution to all this, is insights and that, solution is the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), the National Assembly has confirmed to us their commitment that the PIB will be pass in April hopefully.

He said the bill is expected to be passed in April.

He added by saying, “one of the things I worry about with the PIB is that yes as government we’ve been trying to bend over backwards on a lot of provisions in the PIB in our engagement with investors.

“But we worry about this on the government side, yes we bend over backwards but is that going to attract the investments into Nigeria?

“In spite of the fact that we bend over backwards are the investors already to invest?” he asked.

For example, a company will decide to invest $15 billion in a challenging environment in an LNG project in Mozambique, just as challenged as Nigeria more or less and will be storing on investment in Nigeria we are not actually spending any money because most of it is from debt.

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“You know those are the concerns we have too,” he said.

READ ALSO: INTERVIEW: Why Nigerian govt cannot allow marketers fix petrol prices – Sylva

According to him, “We must see commitment from our investors, when we bend over backwards they will also be bending over backwards and encouraging us to invest.

“And that is really the meeting point that we need and that meeting point I believe will give us a PIB that is going to ensure the growth of this sector in Nigeria.

“The growth of the gas sector is inevitable in Nigeria,” he added.

The minister said with the global attention, the country must move away from oil and concentrate on gas.

“We are very ready, I must say and I believe that we will achieve that,” he said. “We will conclude the review of the gas master plan to accommodate current realities and we shall continue to support decarbonization effort and energy substitution.”

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