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Senate Calls For Diversification to Natural Gas Production

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Oil and Gas
  • Senate Calls For Diversification to Natural Gas Production

Forty-eight lawmakers on Wednesday initiated a fresh push for diversification from crude oil to natural gas production.

The lawmakers through a motion sponsored at plenary in Abuja by Senator Betty Apiafi (PDP, Rivers) also called for effective monitoring of the Nigerian Flare Commercialisation Programme planned to end gas flaring by 2020.

Senator Betty Apiafi, during a debate, said the World Bank Global Gas Flaring Reduction Partnership report released in 2018 indicated that Nigeria was the sixth-largest gas flaring nation globally and the second-largest in Africa after Algeria.

She noted that despite the flaring of natural gas remaining illegal since 1984, the country remains one of the largest gas flaring nations globally.

She said: “section 3(1) of the Associated Gas Reinjection Act, Cap A25 LFN 2004 states that no company engaged in the production of oil and gas shall after January 1, 1984 flare gas produced in association with or without the permission in writing of the minister.”

According to a data released by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in 2018, oil and gas companies operating in Nigeria flared a total of N215.9 billion standard cubic feet (SCF) of natural gas or N197 billion, she stated.

She said: “Nigeria’s gas reserves are about three times the value of her crude oil reserves with a value of around 202 trillion cubic feet of proven natural gas reserves but despite having the largest gas reserves in Africa, only about 25 per cent of those reserves are being produced or are under development today.” Suggesting that not only is the nation losing billions but also hurting communities located in the region where these oil and gas companies operate.

In the Niger Delta region of the country, gas flares having been hurting communities since the 1960s, stated Apiafa.

“Gas flaring results in the release of methane which is accompanied by other greenhouse gases that account for about 50 per cent of all industrial emissions in the country and 30 per cent of the total carbondioxide emissions, which are harmful to humans,” she noted, stressing that the emission also affect the economy and the environment.

Apiafi explained that the inability of the federal government to enforce laws against gas flaring had exposed people in affected communities to various health issues, destroyed farmlands and crops.

This she said is costing the country billions of dollars.

The lawmaker declared “that natural gas, when harnessed properly, was a source of energy for heating, cooking, electricity generation, fuel for vehicles and chemical feedstock for the manufacture of commercially-important organic chemicals.

“Natural gas is the cleanest burning fossil fuel, it’s safer and easier to store. It is an extremely reliable energy supply source, it causes less damage to humans and the environment, it’s widely available and in abundance in Nigeria.

“Nigeria’s current gas production stands at 253.06 billion cubic feet (bcf), translating to an average daily production of 8,163.58 million cubic feet per day (mmcfpd),” she said.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Economy

France, Nigeria to Build New Partnership

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France is currently aiming at building a new partnership with Nigeria, with the dispatching of its Minister in charge of Foreign Trade and Attractiveness, Franck Riester, to Nigeria.

Riester, who was expected at the time of filing this report on Monday, is scheduled to visit Nigeria from 12-14 April, 2021.

A statement from the French Embassy in Nigeria said: “Franck Riester is visiting Nigeria from 12 to 14 April, a visit that follows up on the priorities set by French President Emmanuel Macron during his official visit to Nigeria in July 2018 and his desire to build a new partnership between Africa and France.

“As the largest economy in Africa and the economic engine of West Africa, Nigeria is indeed a major partner for France, the first in sub-Saharan Africa with bilateral trade amounting to a total of 4.5 billion USD in 2019 (2.3 billion USD in 2020, due to the Covid-19 pandemic).”

It disclosed that the minister will have several official meetings in Abuja and Lagos, in order to underline the importance of the bilateral economic relationship and to prepare the summit on the financing of African economies in Paris on 18 May.

It revealed that the objective of the mission is also to further strengthen the links between the French and Nigerian private sectors, and “in this regard, the minister will have in-depth discussions with the main Nigerian economic actors to strengthen bilateral cooperation and investments, both in Nigeria and in France, particularly in the logistics sector”.

It said while in the country, the minister would meet with young Nigerian entrepreneurs in the cultural and creative industries sector, to discuss the major role of their country in African creativity and the development of the African entrepreneurial ecosystem, with the support of France.

It further said: “The minister will also open the ‘Choose Africa’ conference, a €3.5 billion initiative by President Emmanuel Macron dedicated to supporting the development of start-ups and SMEs in Africa to enable the continent to benefit fully from the opportunities of the digital revolution.”

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Economy

COVID-19: USAID to Provide $3m Grant, Technical Assistance to Combat Food Insecurity in Nigeria

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The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is providing financial grant and technical assistance worth $3 million to combat food insecurity in Nigeria compounded by COVID-19 pandemic.

A statement by the agency on Monday said: “On April 12, 2021, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in Nigeria launched a COVID-19 Food Security Challenge that will provide $3 million in grant funding and technical assistance to youth-led and mid-stage companies working in food value chains in Nigeria.”

The statement lamented that Nigeria is experiencing food insecurity compounded by the COVID-19 global pandemic and its effects on the food value chain in the country.

It stated that the pandemic has disrupted the already fragile agricultural value chains, especially smallholder farmers’ ability to produce, process and distribute food, which has disrupted agricultural productivity and markets, and negatively impacted livelihoods, especially among vulnerable households, women and youth.

The USAID Mission Director, Anne Patterson, said: “We are launching the COVID-19 Food Security Challenge to help innovative Nigerians alleviate food insecurity.

“This assistance encourages private sector-led solutions to boost food production, processing and create market linkage along the agriculture value chain in a sustainable way across Nigeria.”

The statement revealed that in launching the challenge, USAID seeks commercially viable youth-led and mid-stage companies already working in food production, processing, and distribution, noting that successful applicants will present ideas that demonstrably help farmers and other stakeholders in the agricultural value chain increase, agricultural productivity and food security within the next six months.

According to the statement, the challenge will award 15 to 25 youth-led companies up to $75,000 each and award 10 to 15 mid-stage companies up to $150,000 each.

Winners will receive funding and technical assistance to rapidly expand their activities to mitigate the effect of COVID-19 on Nigeria’s food value chain and improve the resilience of vulnerable households to the negative impacts of the pandemic.

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Economy

FG Plans to Deliver Solar Energy to 25M Nigerians

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The Nigerian federal government has commenced its plan to deliver electricity through solar energy to Nigerians whose communities are off the national power grid.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who spoke during an event to mark the programme in Jangefe, Roni Local Government Area of Jigawa State, restated the determination of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to give more Nigerians access to cheap and environmentally friendly renewable power.

Osinbajo said the Solar Power Naija programme would continue across the six geopolitical zones in six states, namely, Edo, Lagos, Adamawa, Anambra, Kebbi and Plateau, in the first phase, and then move to the entire 36 states and the nation’s capital, thus, covering 25 million Nigerians at completion.

Jangefe community got 1,000 solar home system connections for its about 5,000 population, as part of a 100,000 scheme, with a local solar power company implementing aspects of the scheme.

According to Osinbajo, the president had emphasised that Nigeria could no longer rely solely on the grid if government is to electrify the whole country, which meant that an effective strategy had to be developed for decentralising power supply.

The Solar Power Naija programme, which is designed by the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), is an ambitious initiative that aims to create five million connections through a N140 billion financing programme that will support private developers to provide power for five million households, which means providing electricity for up to 25 million Nigerians.

The vice president disclosed that the programme was a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement supported by concessionary lending via the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and commercial banks. He emphasised that structures had been put in place to make the cost of the connections affordable for the target communities.

In addition to the concessionary lending rates, Osinbajo explained that the government had provided subsidies and rebates for private developers to the tune of over $200 million under the REA and World Bank Nigeria electrification programme.

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