inappropriate pricing, paucity of infrastructure and non-existence of a regulating agency are partly responsible for investment deficit rocking the Nigeria’s Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) industry.
Managing Director, NIPCO Gas Limited, Mr Sanjay Teotia, told Nigerian Tribune that the development of CNG, which is also being used to fuel vehicles for profitability and environmental friendliness is also being hampered by lack of accessibility to land.
He expressed regret that with the enormous gas reserves in the country, the potential in the sector has not being fully utilised to the benefit of the people.
Nigeria, Teotia said, would continue to miss the gains of the deposit of such 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 Timpre Silva, and chaired by Mr Mohammed Ibrahim to steer the gas sector for optimal performance.
The setting up of the committee, according to Teotia, was very apt and a clear indication of the genuine resolve of the present administration to tackle challenges bedeviling the sector and to pave the way for better utilisation of the nation’s massive gas resources in the overall interest of stakeholders.
He said the company, which got its license to operate in 2007, has seven gas stations in Benin alone, with other stations in Lagos and Delta States adding that NIPCO has laid 51km gas pipeline in Benin to distribute CNG to the seven stations in the city.
“Currently, we have converted no fewer than 5000 vehicles from PMS/Diesel to CNG, and now distribute the product to few restaurants in the city. We have the capacity to dispense to no fewer than 20,000 vehicles.
“The sector has the potential to provide numerous job opportunities and create a lot of economic potentials for the country once the government provides the necessary frame work to enhance its growth.
“For once, there must be appropriate pricing of gas to allow for affordability and the issue of land must be addressed as well. State governments can encourage investment in the sector by giving land at a reduced rate,” he said.