Nigeria should use gas as catalyst for industrial transformation – NLNG MD

Kunle Kalejaye 15 March 2017, Sweetcude, Lagos –  The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria LNG Limited, NLNG, Mr. Tony Attah, believes it is time for Nigeria to rise and become a great gas producing country, and use gas as a catalyst for industrial and economic transformation.
Attah, while welcoming Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, to the NLNG plant on Bonny Island, Rivers State, said Nigeria urgently needed to unleash its vast gas potentials, which include 187 trillion cubic feet, tcf, of proven reserves, 600 tcf of unproven reserves, opportunity for growth with NLNG Trains 7 and 8, and capacity to increase cooking gas supply to the domestic market to one million metric tons per annum, mtpa.
“To promote gas sector investment as a catalyst for economic growth for Nigerian economy, it is necessary that affirmative actions are taken to create opportunities to attract international investments.
“Gas will continue to be an enabler of economic and industrial development and there is need to strategically reposition Nigeria’s gas sector for sustainable economic and industrial development,” the NLNG managing director said.
He added: “In NLNG’s case, there was the Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG) Fiscal Incentives, Guarantees and Assurances Act (NLNG Act). The assurances and guarantees in the Act allowed investments to flow into the country. It provided investors the confidence that any agreement entered into would be respected and preserved. To amend the Act will not help Nigeria, NLNG and its hopes for expansion. It will erode investors’ confidence that the Act provided in the first place.
“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.”
Citing the Qatari example,  he noted that “as at today, oil and gas, and principally LNG, is the foundation of Qatar’s economy; and accounts for more than 70 per cent of total government revenue, and more than 60 per cent of GDP, as well as roughly 85 per cent of export earnings.”
“Qatar has LNG capacity of about 77mtpa and generates revenue of about $91 billion per year. In gas-to-liquid, GTL, production, Qatar is third in the world with production capacity of about 400kbbl equivalent per day and revenue of about $16 billion a year. Gas was the catalyst for transformation of a small emirate to a global economic powerhouse,” he stated.
He maintained that such transformation was only possible through the implementation of deliberate gas development policies. “Natural gas played a vital role in the development of the economic and industrial revolution of Qatar. The economy was enhanced in 1991 by conclusion of the $1.5 billion phase I of North Field gas development. By 1996, the Qataris started the export of LNG to Japan,” he said.

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