The Founder/Executive Director, Niger Delta Sustainable Development Initiative (NDSDI), Chief Sunnie Chukumele has called on the Federal Government to subsidise gas resources to make it more available and affordable for Nigerians.
Chief Chukumele who made the call during an interview with The Tide in Port Harcourt said the government had over the years showed lack of interest in ending the issue of gas flaring by oil companies operating in the country.
He noted that flaring of gas had had negative effect on the Nigerian environment and nothing has been done to put an end to it, pointing out that several manufacturing firms have gone down because of inadequate gas supply to power their plants, thereby rendering them unproductive.
Expressing the hope that with the President Jonathan’s gas-to-power programme in the stream, gas resources would be greatly harnessed and made sufficiently available for domestic and industrial use and export.
According to him, Nigeria is one of the countries of the world with large gas reserves and stressed the need for urgent implementation of the gas reinjection programme of the country which he noted would increase the nation’s foreign exchange earnings.
He said: “I hope with the President’s efforts, there will be a way forward to develop our gas resources as never done by past administrations,” urging President Jonathan to exert the political will and courage to follow up all the policies formulated by past administrations for the gas sector as being done in oil.
Chief Chukumele who recalled the visit of former President Shehu Shagari to the Obrikom gas turbine in 1982 for a gas reinjection programme regretted that previous administrations lacked the political will to implement the programme for the benefit of the country and Nigerians.
The NDSDI boss who is also the Convener/Director General of the Rivers State Government/Indigenous Contractors Association decried the increasing urge of Nigerians to squander resources meant for national development and enjoined oil companies to channel their gas resources to turbines to power electricity.
“Our power sector needs a lot of gas, for example, the Egbin Power Station and the Rivers State gas turbine amongst others and there are industries that require gas to remain afloat,” he stressed.