A recent declaration by the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, that Nigeria accounts for 40 percent of flared gas annually in Africa amounting to about $7 billion in wasted opportunities called for the urgent need for the National Assembly to expedite action on the Gas Flaring (Prohibition) Bill 2017. The upper legislative chamber set in motion a machinery to review the 39-year-old law which recommends only N10 as fine for gas flaring.
Beyond slamming penalties on companies involved in gas flaring, the Federal Government has also decided to convert the monumental waste of natural resources to wealth through the implementation of the Nigerian Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme (NGFCP) which was launched by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Ibe Kachikwu, on December 13, 2016.
The Programme Manager, NGFCP, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Justice Derefaka, disclosed that Nigeria loses approximately $1 billion of revenue through gas flaring, due to its inability to capture and commercialise flared gas in the country.
The programme seeks to attract investments and develop a transparent market mechanism through a competitive procurement process for allocating gas flares, under clear and transparent criteria, to competent third party investors using proven technologies in commercial applications globally.
According to the Senior Technical Adviser on Upstream and Gas Policy to the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr.Gbite Adeniji, the commercialisation of flared gas for supply into the domestic market is a high priority strategy for the government in achieving the national mandate for flare-out by 2020.