The Federal Government on Tuesday inaugurated the Governing Council of the Midstream and Downstream Gas Infrastructure Fund (MDGIF).
Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, inaugurated the nine-member Council, in Abuja, to fix the critical missing link in government’s effort to develop the gas sector
He charged members to work seriously to mobilise funds for the provision of critical infrastructure for the gas industry.
Sylva, according to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Communications, Horatious Egua, said the inauguration showed President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to repositioning the energy sector.
“It will drive economic development and prosperity for our people, our nation and value to our partners, in accordance with the Petroleum Industry Act 2021 (PIA),” he added.
In March 2021, President Buhari declared January 1, 2021, to December 31, 2030, as “The Decade of Gas Development for Nigeria,” primarily to set the road map towards a gas-powered economy by 2030.
Sylva said the Federal Government has put in place several programmes towards achieving the decade of gas initiatives and developing huge gas potentials of Nigeria
He, however, said that the missing link was the absence of the basic gas infrastructure to help realise the objectives.
The minister said a key cause of poor gas production, gas flaring and low domestic gas utilisation is gas infrastructure deficit in the country.
“It is estimated that more than $20 billion yearly will be required over the next 10 years to bridge these gaps,” he said.
According to him, the Fund, established under Section 52 of the PIA, resides as a Directorate in the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA).
There is an urgent need to focus on the major strategic plans and key initiatives to enable the government set a clear trajectory to achieving the noble objectives of establishing the Fund.
As a Directorate within the Authority, Sylva said the Fund is expected to benefit from its internal reporting, operational and organisational processes.
He added that in accordance with the PIA 2021, the council would supervise and make investment decisions for the Fund. Section 52 (3) of the PIA provides for the Governing Council to supervise and make investment decisions for the Fund.
Sylva urged members of the Council to take urgent steps to bring gas infrastructure closer to the people to enable them to benefit from government policy in this regard.
“There is an urgent need to focus on the major strategic plans and key initiatives to enable the government set a clear trajectory to achieving the noble objectives of establishing the Fund,” he said.
Terms of reference for the Council include identifying critical and relevant stakeholders that can increase domestic utilisation of natural gas, LPG and auto gas, as well as developing a roadmap for transforming gas to a value addition product in Nigeria.
The Council has the Minister of State Petroleum Resources as Chairman, and the Executive Director MDGIF as Chief Executive Officer.
Other members of the Council include Dr Scholastica Nnaji, representing the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN); Victor Omata, for the Federal Ministry of Finance; and Farouk Ahmed, Chief Executive, NMDPRA. (NAN)