Gov. Willie Obiano of Anambra says the state has capacity for implementation of the National Gas Expansion Programme (NGEP) at the state level.
Obiano, who was represented by his deputy, Dr Nkem Okeke, said this while declaring open a Consultative Forum on NGEP in Agulu, Anaocha Local Government Area of the state on Thursday.
The governor said adopting gas, a primary source of energy, should be of immense benefit to the economic prosperity of the state in view of its commercial and industrial nature.
He said the programme looked good and hoped that it would not be among those beautiful policies that remained unimplemented.
Obiano called for effective actions toward implementation of the gas switch programme.
“It will be a great development; we hope it will not be all talks as usual, we have had enough of good policies, we want to see actions that will lead to the reality of this bass programme.
“Anambra has what it takes to implement this in terms of man and material,” he said.
On his part, Dr Mohammed Ibrahim, Chairman of NGEP implantation committee, said switch to gas was both necessary and implementable as it reduced the cost of energy by 40 per cent.
Ibrahim said Nigeria had wasted its opportunity in gas resource over the years through flaring and focus on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).
He said Nigeria had to “go gas” due to its environmental and cost effective benefits as price of petrol would rise to up to N400 per litre in no distant future even beyond average citizen.
The chairman, who regretted that 90 per cent of activities in the petroleum sector was in the hands of foreign multinationals, said part of the objectives of NGEP was to develop home grown capacity to ensure that Nigerians feature prominently along the value chain.
He lauded Anambra government for being the first state to roll out the programme after the Dec. 1 national inauguration.
Ibrahim lauded Mrs Patricia Igwebuike, the Special Adviser to Obiano on Legal Matters and Oil/Gas for her tenacity.
According to him, apart from being a source of clean energy, cist of energy will go down by 70 per cent and we want to generate and reticulate gas energy to industrial clusters, estates and households by next year.
“Indigenous manpower will be needed for conversation of over five million vehicles to gas compliant, fabrication of 50 million cylinders, 5 million kits and this will create over 12.5 million jobs,” he said.
Mr Chinedu Oguegbu, Chairman of OMAA motors, a vehicle gas conversion firm based in Anambra, said the indigenous technology to drive the project was not a challenge.
Oguegbu said NGEP would expose Nigerians to wider alternative source of energy adding that gas was safer than PMS.
He called on Nigerians to embrace the technology as his company had started developing vehicles that ran on both gas and PMS with overall better efficiency and cost effectiveness.
On his part, Prof. Charles Ofuegbu, Vice Chairman of Anambra State Oil and Gas Development Committee said Anambra and Nigeria in general had the abundant resources to drive NGEP but noted that the national gas master plan needed to be implemented first.
Ofuegbu, a professor of Geophysics and expert in geosciences however, cautioned that while it was important to drive the NGEP with local capacity, the quality of fabrications must conform to international standards. (NAN)