Inappropriate pricing, paucity of infrastructure and lack of a regulating agency are partly responsible for investment deficit in Nigeria’s Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) industry.
The Managing Director, NIPCO Gas Limited, Sanjay Teotia, stated this during a media tour of some of the company’s facilities in parts of Benin City, the Edo State capital.
He noted that the development of CNG, used to fuel vehicles for profitability and environmental friendliness, was being hampered by lack of accessibility to land.
He regretted that with the enormous gas reserves in the country, the sector’s potential was not being fully harnessed.
Nigeria, Teotia said, will continue to miss the gains of the huge gas reserves if the challenges are not resolved. He, however, lauded the Federal Government’s National Gas Expansion Programme Committee, which was recently inaugurated by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva; it is chaired by Mohammed Ibrahim.
The gas chief stated further: “The setting up of the committee was very apt and a clear indication of the genuine resolve of the present administration to tackle the challenges that bedevil the sector and to pave the way for better utilisation of the nation’s massive gas resources in the overall interest of stakeholders.’’
Teotia, stated that the company, which got its licence in 2007, has seven CNG stations in Benin, with others in Lagos and Delta states, adding that NIPCO has laid 51km of gas pipeline in Benin to distribute CNG to the seven stations.
He said: “We have converted no fewer than 5000 vehicles from petrol/diesel to CNG, and now distribute the product to few eateries in the city. We have the capacity to dispense 500 standard cubic meter (SCM) and also dispense to no fewer than 20,000 vehicles here.
“The sector has the potential to provide numerous job opportunities and create a lot of potentials for the economy and the country once the government provides the necessary framework to enhance its growth.
“These include appropriate pricing of gas to allow for affordability, and also the issue of land acquisition for building CNG infrastructure must be addressed. State governments can encourage investment in the sector by giving land at a reduced rate.”
Some of the motorists, who spoke with reporters during the tour, expressed delight on the over 40 per cent saving they make using gas as auto fuel compared to white products such as petrol and diesel. They, however, appealed to the company to replicate the establishment of more CNG across the city and neighbouring states to improve access to the product.
Source: The Nation