Delta State Government Monday, established a strategic development partnership with the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on the Nigerian gas master-plan.
Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, at a stakeholders meeting held at Asaba, said the partnership would offer solutions to a range of challenges of peace and development, youth restiveness, economic integration, unemployment and lack of skilled personnel.
“Our ultimate goal is to ensure that everyone appreciates the development and exploration of natural gas”, he reasoned.
He said that even as Nigeria is regarded as the seventh largest gas plant producer in terms of reserve with 185 trillion cubic feet of proven gas reserve, an over 300 trillion cubic feet of undiscovered gas, Delta State has its reserve accounting for about 40 percent of the Nigeria gas province.
Governor Uduaghan however assured that the state government has put in place structures that can assist investors to do business in the state.
Delta State is ready to make a success of this opportunity when these projects would come on stream fully. Delta state remains one of the safest state in the Niger Delta region”, he claimed.
In his keynote address, the Group Managing Director (GMD) of NNPC, Mohammed Sanusi Barkindo described the stakeholders meeting as a logical step, adding that gas has the potential to catalyse the gas infrastructure efforts into sustained economic growth for the people of Delta State.
He further said that the gas master plan aims to address the disconnection that has bedeviled the nation’s gas sector’s underperformance due to flaring and inability to supply gas to existing plants for electricity generation.
In his lecture titled Nigeria gas Master-Plan: Delta State perspective, Dr. David Igie identified four key drivers to low gas utilisation in Nigeria to include low pricing in the sub-commercial domestic market, inadequate gas infrastructure, oligopolistic structure of incumbents and export bias and funding.
While calling for complementary efforts at the state level in developing meaningful strategies to accomplish the development of a successful gas master-plan, the resource person said that having learnt from past mistakes, equity participation between Delta State government and communities has been proposed.
Also, Dr. Cornellius Alalade in his lecture titled Developing Delta State: The Role of Gas Based Economy, encouraged Delta State to establish gas based industries like the Iron and Steel, Fertiliser and Aluminum Smeltering among others.