Turkey and Libya have joined the growing list of foreign countries calling on Nigeria for the supply of natural gas, the Federal Government announced on Tuesday.
It said the demand for Nigerian was on the increase, but decried the lack of adequate infrastructure required to transport the commodity out of Nigeria.
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Gabriel Aduda, disclosed this at the second edition of the Domestic Gas Summit organised by the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
He said the government lacked the capacity to provide all the required infrastructure and urged the private sector players at the summit to take up the challenge, as they would get the required government support.
“I want to assure you that the government is ready to do business. People are calling us every day demanding for gas. The energy minister for Turkey has called me more than 10 times, and I’m not exaggerating, that they need natural gas.
“Libyans have been here, and as I speak to you today they’ve forwarded an MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) to me that they just want gas in Libya and they want Nigerian gas.
“All these are opportunities, and if I had the money I’ll simply tell everybody to sit down and I’ll build the pipelines and make the money for the rest of my life. We need to be able to identify these opportunities,” Aduda stated.
He said Nigeria has more than 208 trillion cubic feet of gas, stressing that other gas rich nations were taking steps to compete with Nigeria in terms of gas supply.
“The Algerians will not let us rest because they too want to sell gas to the world. The Europeans are not resting either, because they know that if they have access to our gas, it is business for them. So the question is why are we lagging behind in taking this gas out when we have a lot of it here with us.
“Government cannot do it all, I keep emphasizing that. It is the private sector. That is why I believe this summit is of extreme importance and I wish we will be able to come up with the right solutions to handling this,” Aduda stated.
The permanent secretary also told his audience the government was “looking at taking out all the bottlenecks such that we can have a very interesting place where everybody, both the investor and the country will make money and we see power delivered to our people.”
The Director-General, ACCI, Al-mujtaba Abubakar, the summit, with the theme, “Building a Sustainable, Resilient Gas, and Renewable Energy Sector in Nigeria and Beyond,” would promote the discussion of various issues centred on rejuvenating the Nigerian gas industry.
“Its primary objective is to enhance both domestic gas utilisation and the infrastructure needed to make the Nigerian gas industry globally competitive.
“This annual event is with a focus on promoting local content, fostering a friendly business environment through government liaisons, and organising seminars and workshops to ensure that the benefits of the oil and gas industry in Nigeria extend throughout the nation,” he stated.