Gas has potential to transform African economies —Seplat chair

•Says coy delivering 30% of gas power in Nigeria

ABC Orjiako, Chairman of Seplat Petroleum Development Company has noted that gas has the potential to transform African economies if harnessed properly.

Orjiako made the submission as a panelist at the recently concluded Africa/Singapore Business Forum hosted by the International Enterprise (IE) in Singapore on August 24, 2016.

Speaking to the theme, “Africa Oil and Gas: Positioning for the future” which discussed the Africa oil and gas narrative from the perspective of a Nigerian independent playing in the global equity space, Orjiako and other panellists highlighted the challenges that exists not just in Nigeria but on the entire continent.

Orjiako stressed that the country’s current challenges with low oil prices, high exchange rate relative to the dollar and spiralling inflation all signal a wake-up call for Nigeria’s economic diversification.

According to him, “the good news is that Nigeria is taking the right steps in the right direction by the recent subsidy removal and the floating of the Naira. What is expected is that the right fiscal discipline to channel the associated savings to the real sector, particularly in infrastructure, manufacturing, agriculture will evolve.  Gas is at the center of this transformation because in Africa, the power infrastructure gap is the biggest barrier to real growth.  The huge deficiency in power presents a huge investment opportunity with good headroom for returns on investment.”

He noted that SEPLAT is leading business growth objective is to consolidate the company’s rapidly growing gas business stating that in the last two years the company has doubled its gas production to 300MMscf/day, “by the commissioning of our 150MMscf/day Modular gas plant in OBEN, with plans underway to increase the processing capacity to 500MMscf/day by end of 2016.”

Seplat is currently delivering 30 per cent of gas for power in the Nigerian domestic gas market and “is well positioned to increase this exponentially in the coming years with ability to deliver to both the Nigerian market and the West African sub region.