The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva has revealed that the Federal Government is working towards the production of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) as an alternative fuel to the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) petrol this year.
The Minister revealed this in an interview with the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA), monitored by our reporter; he said that although the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) had made several trips to the National Assembly without translating into law, he however said this year shall be its last trip to the federal lawmakers.
The minister was optimistic that with the renewed relationship between the legislature and the executive the bill will scale through.
Sylva also noted that the rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt Refinery will commence in the first quarter of 2020. Also slated for commencement this year, according to him, is the construction of the Ajaokuta, Kaduna and Kano gas pipeline project.
The project, which is expected to take gas from the Niger Delta to Kano, is also targeted at feeding the industries in the area with gas.
He lamented that Nigeria is a very rich gas country, yet it has the lowest Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) penetration in the world. The minister said that the government is working to ensure LPG penetration this year.
Besides, he revealed that Nigeria has never looked for gas except the one it found from oil production. Now, according to him, the federal government is to begin gas exploration.
According to him “The gas sector will definitely grow. Nigeria is described as a gas territory with oil in it. Unfortunately, we have not taken advantage of our gas resources. All the gas we have found in Nigeria has been found while looking for oil not looking for gas. “We are going to have some targeted exploration for gas. And we also want the people of Nigeria to have an alternative to PMS. We want to see how gas can be converted to CNG.
“And also we are trying to improve the LPG penetration. Unfortunately, Nigeria has the lowest LPG penetration in the world. We are very rich in gas. This year we are going to focus on this area.”
Stressing that most nations are now exiting fossil fuel for renewable energy as gas, he confirmed that Nigeria was still far from joining the race for renewable energy utilization.