Lawyer Urges FG To Establish Gas Companies For Local Turbines

Mr Realwan Okpanachi, a lawyer who specialises in oil and gas, says constant collapse of the national grid is caused by poor power generation due to inability of gas-powered stations to access gas.

Okpanachi said this in an interview in Abuja.

He said much of the gas produced in Nigeria was for foreign markets while the little left to power the nation’s turbines came from what was left after supplies.

The lawyer, therefore, urged government to establish companies with the primary purpose of producing gas for “our own power sector’’.

He said that the country’s power sector relied heavily on hydro when the country had so much gas resources that remained untapped.

“Nigeria is a gas nation, Nigeria is not an oil nation, and we have more gas than oil.

“Nigeria is a gas nation with some amount of oil and we have not tapped into the gas resources,’’ he said.

“We need to do more to make sure that we diversify even within the oil and gas industry.

“Because we have not done the necessary investments in that sector we are therefore not taking the full benefits of it,’’ Okpanachi said.

According to Okpanachi, giving the sector more attention will create positive impact on the economy and will ensure stable power supply.

“The economy shall also improve, jobs will in turn be created and other good things shall take place which will take Nigeria to the next level,’’ he said,

He commended President Buhari-led administration for its effort in repositioning the oil and gas industry.

He said that from what was happening, “the pipeline from Niger Delta to Kano is going to unlock that industry and is going to unlock the gas potential for Nigeria.

He said the administration, through the Minister of State for petroleum, Mr Timipre Sylva, had resolved all issues surrounding the Train 7 project of the LNG which had been a serious problem.

“The final decision was taken not quite long and this is the final investment decision we had been clamouring for and every effort to see it taken was to no avail.

“The Train 7 is going to unlock a lot of jobs, revenue for the federal government and boost our local content,’’ he said.

He added that although the project was capital intensive involving “ some billions of dollars’’ it was worth it.

“Local fabricators, local servicing companies and artisans are all going to be engaged and it is going to unlock the resources of the Niger Delta and Nigeria,’’ Okpanachi said.

The legal luminary also commended the 9th Assembly for the Production Sharing Contract Act that was passed and signed “within a record time’’.

According to him, the absence of the Act had denied Nigeria so much revenue.

“We are aware that the Federal Government is already asking for arrears of 62 billion dollars.

“Do you know what that will do for our economy that is emerging from recession?’’ Okpanachi said.