18 August 2016, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Benue State government and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) are reviewing their partnership on the planned ethanol project in the state, with a view to deepening their collaboration.
This is a sequel to the directive from President Muhammadu Buhari to the NNPC to commence hydrocarbon exploratory activities in the Benue trough as part of efforts to guarantee the energy security of the country.
Addressing a delegation of the Benue state government at his office in Abuja, Group Managing Director of NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, said the collaboration was necessary as the ethanol project was geared towards the production of biofuels for energy sufficiency.
Baru pointed out that ethanol when blended with Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) otherwise known as petrol, ensures excellent performance of vehicles, stressing that energy sufficiency and proficiency were part of the cardinal objectives of the NNPC.
Earlier, the leader of the Benue state delegation, Chief Terwase Orbunde, commended the NNPC for resolving the recent fuel supply challenges and pledged the readiness of the state government to support the quick take off of the ethanol project, adding that the project would generate jobs for Nigerians.
The Corporation’s Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Garba Deen Muhammad, in a statement, said Orbunde assured the NNPC of full support and cooperation from the state government and the host communities, stressing that the state fully identifies itself with the energy policy of the federal government.
Recall that the NNPC initiated a renewable energy programme in August 2005, which is in conformity with the Kyoto Protocol agreement to which Nigeria is a signatory.
The primary aim of the programme is to link the agricultural sector with the Oil and Gas Industry. It is also aimed at gradually reducing the nation’s dependence on imported gasoline, reducing environmental pollution as a result of consumption of wholesale fossil fuel as well as creating a commercially viable industry that can boast of sustainable domestic jobs.
A similar programme in Brazil has a thriving biofuels industry providing quantum economic benefits including the creation of hundreds of thousands of employment.