Minister Seeks More Investments In Gas Sector

Minister Seeks More Investments In Gas Sector
Heineken Lokpobiri

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, (Oil), Heineken Lokpobiri, has called for more investments to explore Nigeria’s “enormous” gas reserves.

Lokpobiri made this call Tuesday at the 8th edition of the Sub-Saharan Africa International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference held in Lagos.

The minister, who was represented at the SAIPEC by the Director of Gas, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Oluremi Komolafe, said the event was significant for the energy sector, especially at a period when energy transition and security is a global topic.

According to him, gas is not just a transition fuel in Nigeria, “but it is strategic to achieve a more secure energy future and as a catalyst for other national development goals”.

He noted that the Ministry of Petroleum Resources identified finance and investment in infrastructure as critical to the development of the gas sector.

 “As part of the tools to address this problem, the Midstream and Downstream Gas Infrastructure Fund was put in place to enable the government to make equity investment in gas infrastructure,” the minister stated.

He maintained that the Nigerian government had put incentives in place to encourage the gas sector development, including three-year tax waivers for companies that build and operate gas pipelines; zero duty and VAT for imported natural gas; and the existing tax waivers on imported gas equipment.

“All these are geared towards deepening gas penetration in Nigeria,” he noted.

In calling for more investments, Lokpobiri remarked: “The responsibility of developing our energy resources does not depend on the government alone. It calls for collaboration, knowledge sharing, and commitment on the part of the private sector industry players too as the government makes the right policies and creates the enabling environment for businesses to thrive.

 “As we anticipate the kick-start of critical infrastructure such as the AKK, and the expansion of the Lagos-Escravos pipeline to Morocco and further to Europe, we call for collaboration to support existing government initiatives.

 “There is a huge demand for gas in Nigeria, and the sector is large enough to accommodate everyone. The Ministry of Petroleum Resources welcomes ideas and ventures that could assist us bridge the gap existing between demand for gas and the low level of development of our enormous natural gas reserves.”

 He reiterated the readiness of the government and the ministry to foster fruitful collaborations and partnerships that will aid the achievement of the national goals for domestic gas utilisation and export.

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