The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, has disclosed that 800 companies have placed bids for management of 176 gas flare sites in the country.
Mr. Kachikwu told this to journalists in Abuja on Thursday. He also confirmed that the government had received bids of 226 bidders that paid the stipulated fees out of the 800 companies that expressed interest in managing the sites.
He said the government was working hard to stop gas flaring in the country by the year 2020, 10 years ahead of the United Nation’s deadline and it was unfortunate that Nigeria had over the years failed to properly utilize its gas resources for the development of the economy.
The minister bemoaned that the country is yet to use the tonnes of gas resources it has to achieve industrialization and agricultural development owing to the fact that a significant volume of gas produced in the country was flared, depriving the country the benefits that could have been accrued from the resources.
“Premised on the foregoing, the policy position of His Excellency, President Muhammad Buhari, is that gas flaring is totally unacceptable.
“In this regard, the Federal Government of Nigeria initiated a number of actions to reaffirm its commitment to ending the practice of gas flaring in our oil fields.
“Furthermore, in recognition that flared gas could be harnessed to stimulate economic growth, drive investments and provide jobs in oil producing communities and indeed for Nigerians through the utilization of widely available innovative technologies.
“The Federal Executive Council in June 2016 approved the Nigerian Gas Flare Commercialization Programme [NGFCP]” he said.
Kachikwu, on stating that the NGCFP would ensure zero gas flare by 2020, explained that the NGFCP was a key component of the National Gas Policy, which sought to end gas flaring, create an enabling environment for investors, seek value addition for gas and improve governance in the sector.
He assured that government would work to grant open access to all pipelines and other essential midstream infrastructure, with respect to the pricing of gas for the domestic market, which was largely controlled by the federal government under a transitional pricing framework.
“The policy objective is to move to market-led wholesale gas pricing without gas price regulation, except where there are natural monopolies,” Mr. Kachikwu said.