28 October 2016, Sweetcrude, Lagos — The Federal Government has announced plans to commercialize gas flaring in the country, while it also stated that it intends to raise about $25 billion through investments in the oil and gas sector.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Ibe Kachikwu, stated this in a document titled, ‘Short and Medium Term Priorities to Grow Nigeria’s Oil and Gas Industry (2015 To 2019)’, also called the tagged the ‘7BigWins’.
According to the document, the roadmap has seven key focus areas, namely: Policy and Regulation ; Business Environment and Investment Drive ; Gas Revolution; Refineries and Local Production Capacity; Niger Delta and Security; Transparency and Efficiency ; and Stakeholder Management and International Coordination.
Under gas revolution, Kachikwu disclosed that the abundant gas resources in Nigeria will be harnessed to generate wealth and save the environment by converting gas flares to power.
To achieve this, Kachikwu explained that an investor-led gas infrastructure development would be promoted to ease the burden of funding on the government, while domestic gas utilization for power and households will also be promoted to support a threefold increase in the nation’s power generation capacity by 2019.
In addition, he noted that the Federal Government would open up commercial gas flare opportunities and drive Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) programmes through incentives.
He further stated that the business and investment drive is primarily aimed at increasing income streams to support infrastructural development, economic diversification including agriculture among others.
According to him, the focus would be on increasing government income streams; raising bulk funds for the Federal Government through successful leveraging of some of the country’s assets and raising investments through investments and positive policy mixes.
In addition, he said, “Opening all sectors to greater private sector participation and funding; while our key targets are to raise $5 billion in the short term, within one year, and $15 to $20 billion in the mid-term, between two to three years.
“Our target also includes cutting contract approval times from two years to between three and six months, while we also hope to reduce strangle hold on oil sector by the government and cut down over supervision.”
In the area of refineries and locally refined products capacity, Kachikwu said, “The objective is to improve our domestic capacity for local petroleum products production. This will entail the injection of private sector investments and expertise in revamping the existing refineries and implementation of modular refineries in the oil-producing region.”
He further explained that the Federal Government aims to achieve 100 per cent local refining capacity by 2020; reduce fuel importation by 60 per cent by end 2018; focus on policy to process majority of our crude; refurbish all refineries in two years with private capital and license specialty based refineries, modular refineries and co-located refineries.