Nigeria lost over N225 billion ($1 billion) to gas flaring in 2014 alone, while about 295 billion standard cubic feet of natural gas was flared in nine months, according to the Lead Director, Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), Eze Onyekepere.
Onyekepere, while speaking with journalists in Abuja on Monday, during a media presentation on issues in implementing the Nigerian Gas Master Plan (NGMP), noted that the volume of gas flared in the country could fuel about 7,000 mega watts of efficient thermal electric power. He lamented that Nigeria is rich in energy resources yet poor in energy supply.
“In 2014, Nigeria lost about $1 billion as oil companies operating in the country flared a large proportion of the gas produced from January to September 2014. Nigeria flares about 1.2 billion cubic feet (bcf/d) of gas per day, which could fuel about 7000mw of efficient thermal electricity power, over 1,400 agro-processing facilities, 350 textile plants, 70 fertilizer plants with opportunities for creating over one million jobs,” Onyekepere said.
Quoting the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Onyekepere added, “about 295 billion standard cubic feet of natural gas was flared in the nine-month period.”
He pointed out that the failure of the seventh National Assembly to pass the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) has robbed the nation a huge sum of revenue.
Onyekepere, therefore, recommended that President Muhammadu Buhari should re-present the PIB to the National Assembly for quick action.
The CSJ also advised that the PIB be split into four parts because of the bulky nature of the bill, with the part dealing with gas isolated and immediately passed into law.
He noted that the country’s inability to end gas flaring in the past was due to lack of political will, adding that the government with the industry stakeholders should fix a definite time frame to end flaring of associated gas and fully implement the gas re-injection Act, with the new rules carrying stiff sanctions for defaulters.