The Nigerian government announced plans to utilize gas resources to soften the impact of downstream deregulation at the Sixth Triennial National Delegates’ Conference of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria last week.
Speaking on behalf of H.E. President Muhammadu Buhari, H.E. Chief Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, stated that increased gas utilization would create jobs and facilitate a transition to cleaner energy sources.
“Our collaboration will focus on gas to transmute Nigeria from the conventional dependence on white products for prime movers to a cleaner, more available, accessible, acceptable and affordable energy use in gas,” he said. “This will cushion the effects of deregulation and create enormous job opportunities for Nigerians.”
The proposal arises from the Federal Government’s decision to deregulate the downstream petroleum industry in March 2020. The deregulation means that market forces will dictate the price of Premium Motor Spirits (PMS), with guidance from the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency.
While Nigeria seeks to diversify its sources of government revenue, crude oil will still remain critical to the long-term economic development of Nigeria and its ability to meet global energy demand.
“It was in acknowledgement of the significance of the oil and gas industry as an enabler of national growth and development, that this government carved out some Strategic Priorities for the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, with a view to stimulating the sector in order to foster the sustainability of the Nigerian economy, create well paid jobs and take millions of Nigerians out of poverty,” said Minister Sylva.