02 March 2017, Sweetcrude, Abuja — Managing Director of the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas, NLNG, Mr Tony Attah has said now is the time for the country to take advantage of it abundant gas resources noting that there is the need for deliberate decisions and policies to decouple oil from gas and attract investment.
Attah stated this at the ongoing 2017 Nigeria Oil and Gas Strategic Conference and International Exhibition in Abuja titled: “Nigeria’s Gas Sector – The Catalyst for Economic and Industrial Growth?”
“It is time for gas. We need deliberate decisions and policies to decouple oil from gas and attract investment. We need to do that now. Investments in the gas and LNG industry are declining. It is already difficult as things stand to find Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and growth in the gas industry has been cautious after the recent downbeat global crude oil price. In addition to this, Nigeria is ranked 167 of 189 countries in the ease of doing the business index.
“Yet, experts maintain that there is the strong likelihood of increased gas demand in future and that is where the silver lining is. However, if we continue with the self-inflicted barriers in our gas industry, we might miss the opportunity to make this country a major player in the global energy mix,” he said.
He stated that the gas industry has benefited the economy, diversifying the revenue and export base, channelling FDI into the country, creating jobs and contributing significantly to the local manufacturing capacity in the country, stressing all that would be laid waste if the country continue to shift policies and renege on international agreements that put some framework into the business and generated investor confidence.
“We need to be creative with incentives that will attract investments and preserve the sanctity of contracts and agreements for all of this to come together in our national interest,” Mr. Attah said
Adding that: “Take Nigeria LNG for instance. Only recently, the House of Representatives began moves to amend the NLNG Fiscal Incentives, Guarantees and Assurances Act, a key enabler responsible for the success of the company. NLNG is a successful Nigerian company, with an asset base of $11 billion as well as the fourth largest LNG plant in the world. It has generated $90 billion in revenues as at 2015, paid $5.7 billion in taxes as well as committed more than $200 million to corporate social responsibility projects especially in the areas of capacity building and infrastructure development. All these were achieved with a management staff entirely made up of Nigerians, with 95% of the total workforce made up of Nigerians.”