How clean energy can drive Nigeria’s quest for gas-fired economy

THE Nigerian government must take a strategic global position on clean energy to have a competitive edge on gas, industry analysts say.

Already, global funding partners and international oil companies with equity stakes in Nigeria’s oil sector are aligning their budgets to clean and renewable energy, which energy analysts say Nigeria must explore to drive gas revolution.

“Nigeria must stimulate strategic demand in the global energy market. This position would enable it achieve and drive its gas revolution. We must define our part and tell the world this the direction we are going. This would enable compete fairly with Russia, Iran, Qatar and other gas-producing nation,” David Ige, a gas expert and energy consultant, told The ICIR.

Nigeria is a gas nation with over 203 trillion of standard cubic feet (tscf) of proven reserves and potentially over 600tcf. However, only one percent of the nation’s annual reserves is being utilised.

Analysts say our strength must come from positioning in the global market where we have a competitive edge in the market.

Industry analysts knowledgeable about the sector say focus on gas-based industries and having a global marketing position on them could be the game changer for Nigeria’s gas revolution. They insist right policies  and fiscal framework are key in unlocking gas investments in Nigeria.

“The Minister as at now should be able to tell industry players these’re areas to explore with saleable incentives. This would enable investors redirect their focus to such areas. ” a gas expert and energy consultant David Ige told The ICIR.

Nigerian government has kicked off the decade of gas. Although it launched a gas policy in 2017, analysts say the country should evolve a step-by-step strategy targeted at achieving the desired goal in 2030. Analysts add that such a strategy will enable proper tracking of targets irrespective of political shift and uncertainties that often characterise the country’s leadership structure.

The global shift to a cleaner source of energy has offered Nigeria an opportunity to properly redefine its gas market.

As part of clean energy drive, natural gas and Blue Hydrogen will be heavily dependent upon to provide significant proportion of global energy mix as guaranteed feedstock to gas-based industries.

Nigeria still has the challenge of infrastructure and fiscal framework to drive investment into the gas sector.

“We must ensure we do not disincentivise the gas regime. Our policies must get our domestic gas investible. We must ensure an end-to-end chain  that everyone must align with, to  drive investment into this sector,” Managing director of Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Bayo Ojulari said.

Ojulari stressed that a market-driven model of willing buyer-willing-seller would help to stimulate investment into the gas-fired economy.

Nigerian government admitted at the just-concluded gas summit that it had gone in the wrong direction of not exploring its gas resources, focusing majorly on oil resources. However, a global shift to a cleaner energy has alerted Nigeria on the need to ensure proper investment framework in its gas resources.

Nigeria has opportunity to push investment into gas resources but has to wait for the National Assembly currently on recess to pass the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) ,which offers investors a fiscal framework.






     

     

    Analysts are of the view that Nigeria’s decade of gas-fired economy could only happen with a material market anchored on gas-based industry.

    Africa has already commenced the African Continental Free Trade Area market of over 1.2 billion people. Energy experts say there are lots of opportunities inherent in intra-African trade on gas resources, but there must be bold and strategic effort to focus on areas of competitive edge such as fertilizer, petrochemical and methanol to drive trade and create wealth.

    Global funding shifting from oil to clean energy – Experts

    “There must be deliberate effort to work on solving our gas infrastructure challenge to de-bottlenek the gas and power space for investors,” a gas expert Seyi Omotowa said.

    Omotowa stressed that linking the gas to power economy by appropriate gas pricing and cost-reflective tariff could create more economic opportunities in the gas value chain for wealth creation.

    Harrison Edeh is a journalist with the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, always determined to drive advocacy for good governance through holding public officials and businesses accountable.

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