An oil and gas expert, Dr David Ige, says the absence of effective legislation is responsible for the delay in the full implementation of the Nigeria Gas Master Plan.
Ige, the Chief Executive Officer, GasInvest Ltd., made the assertion in Lagos at a Media Engagement Session on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).
The session was organised by the Facility for Oil Sector Transformation Project (FOSTER).
Ige said the Nigeria Gas Master Plan was conceptualised in 2005 to make the gas sector one of the top five in Africa by deepening gas utilisation in the country.
He said unfortunately the delay in the passage of the PIB, which could have provided a clear fiscal framework to attract investors, stalled the implementation of the plan.
According to him, with over 200 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of proven gas reserves, Nigeria has the potential of becoming a gas-based industrialised nation if the right policies and infrastructure are put in place.
Ige said: “You cannot have a fully competitive gas market without a competent regulator to drive it to full liberalisation.
“So, the law must provide sufficient legislative incentives to allow the market to grow at the rate it was projected to grow.”
He noted that with International Oil Companies now moving their Investment towards renewables, it was imperative for Nigeria to maximise its oil and gas resources.
Ige said the PIB, which was currently before the National Assembly, ought to have been passed a decade ago, stressing that the country could not afford any further delay.