NGA, NIPCo Plc call for special policy focus on gas utilisation

The Nigeria Gas Association (NGA) and NIPCo Plc have called for special policy focus on gas utilisation by the Federal Government.

President of NGA, Mr Bolaji Osunsanya and the   Managing Director, NIPCO Plc, Mr Venkatapathy Venkataraman, posited that for Nigeria to effectively harness her endowed gas resources there is need for a special policy focus on gas sector in the nation’s energy mix.

Speaking during a courtesy visit by Osunsanya and some council members to NIPCo Plc, the NPA president maintained that Nigeria will only be often referred to as gas haven with low level of gas utilization if preeminence is not accorded the sector.

He also affirmed that there is need to give gas a new pride of place especially in the light of the nation’s economic predicament adding that gas development at the levels of exploration and utilisation needs new focus.

He appreciated the concerns of the management of NIPCo Plc led by its Managing Director, Mr Venkatapathy Venkataraman, in calling for attention to the gas sector at the highest level of governance to further galvanize all stakeholders to support the advocacy in this direction for the needed industry  growth.

According to him, “there is a sense in focussing on gas whether you do it by creating a special ministry or you make sure it has a special focus in policy initiatives.”

He counseled that in the interim, the ministry that supervises gas should make it a priority stressing that through such initiatives, corporate bodies like NIPCo Plc will perform better in the sector.

Mr Osunsanya acknowledged the splendid contribution of NIPCo Plc to the sector so far noting that the association is proud of its achievement.

The NGA President enjoined the planning committee of the forthcoming NGA Biennial Conference /Exhibition to ensure that  primacy of place is given to the company to exhibit its gas powered vehicles at the event to further showcase the development.

He told his host that conscious effort should be made to bring at least one of the CNG converted vehicle to the event for practical demonstration of how it works and also to showcase testimonies from those already using the automobiles.

According to him, “it will not only be a good fora to do advocacy for more gas powered vehicles in the country but also let the populace see the inherent benefits of allowing your vehicles run on gas in comparism with white fuels.”

In his speech, the NIPCo Plc boss, Mr Venkataraman, told his guests that a great future lies ahead for the country in the gas sector in the country not only in view of the abundance resource but also in terms of its utilization either for power generation for domestic uses and savings of foreign exchange in fuel importation.

Mr Venkataraman informed that NIPCO remains a key player in the sector both in the realms of gas usage as auto fuel and for domestic purposes across the country.

In the area of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) otherwise called cooking gas, he said the company has put in place massive gas storage facility with attendant distribution network through scores of gas trucks as well as new gas skids in some of its branded service stations.

He argued that in the areas of using natural gas as auto fuel and powering of machines, the company in a joint venture with Nigeria Gas Company (NGC) inaugurated seven gas stations in the city of Benin and a compression plant at Ibafo, Ogun State to improve access by motorists and industrial concerns.

He, however, averred that slow response to enormous investment by private sector through conscious patronage is adversely affecting returns on investment in the sector.