…As Fayemi hails govt’s National Gas Expansion Initiative.
The Federal Government on Monday inaugurated the National Gas Expansion Programme (NGEP) in Southwest Nigeria as part of efforts to make gas an alternative energy for industrial, transportation and domestic use.
Performing the inauguration at Adetiloye hall in Ado -Ekiti, Ekiti, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva said the programme was a practical demonstration of President Mohammad Buhari’s commitment to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty by using gas value chain as catalyst for social and economic development in Nigeria.
Sylva said Nigeria was richly endowed with mineral resources, specifically, hydro carbon, crude oil and natural gas with proven gas reserves of over two hundred trillion cubic feet of natural gas. This, he said has presented the country with opportunity to use gas as a catalyst for social economy renaissance.
The Minister spoke just as Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi also commended President Buhari’s dedication to implementing programmes directed at improving the lives of the people through job creation, social security schemes, stimulating the economy, and attending to security challenges in the nation.
Governor Fayemi, who inspected some of the gas powered automobiles displayed outside the venue, assured that his administration would continue to key into life lifting programmes of the Buhari led administration to improve the standard of living of the people of the State.
He said his administration recognized the various benefits embedded in the NGEP initiative ranging from reduction of importation of fuel to creation of employment opportunity for the youths and improvement of access to gas for transportation and domestics use at affordable price in the State.
As demonstration of his commitment to the success of the initiatives in the State, Dr Fayemi said 5,000 youth from Ekiti State would participate in the programmes.
The Governor added that a pilot of 20 micro distribution centres would be established across the 16 local governments of the State to enable people at the grassroots have access to affordable and sustainable cooking gas.
“The government and people of Ekiti State appreciate President Muhammadu Buhari for his dedication and commitment to implementing various programmes that can improve the lives of our people.
“We as government in Ekiti State, will continue to key-in to programmes of Federal Government that are of immense benefits to our people. In lieu of this, we recognize the transformational opportunity presented by National Gas Expansion Programme (NGEP) to reduce demand for import of fuel, create employment for our teeming youth and improve access to gas for domestic and transport uses.
“Whilst we are in full support of the Federal Government in the implementation of NGEP in the State, our ultimate goal is to connect the State directly with gas supply via either Ajaokuta in Kogi State or Ore in Ondo State; the two points that offer our State the best opportunity for connection. We therefore plead with private sector players and the Ministry to assist us in this venture.” He said.
Speaking further, Sylva said: “The programme has its main objective to reinforce and expand gas supply as well as stimulate demand in Nigeria through effective and efficient mobilization and utilization of all available assets, resources and infrastructure in the country.
“The programme is geared towards the implementation of Mr President June 12, 2019 promise to take hundred million Nigerians out of poverty within the current decade by ensuring that locally produced, available, accessible and affordable fuel is sufficiently supplied across the country. Human capital developed and jobs created to support this investment in the gas subsector.”
Sylva who noted that the implementation phase of the programme would span across the length and breadth of the nation, added that 500,000 young technicians and engineer are expected to be trained and empowered in the course of the programme.
The Chairman NGEP Committee, Muhammed Ibrahim in his presentation disclosed that auto gas as an alternative fuel will afford Nigerians cheaper, cleaner and eco-friendly option with less impact on vehicles and the environment.