The Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) and Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) have urged the Federal Govenrment to optimise the opportunities inherent in the $13 billion trans-Saharan gas pipeline project that could send up to 30 billion cubic metres a year of supplies to Europe.
The Executive Secretary and Chief Executive Officer of MOMAN, Mr Clement Isong and the National President, IPMAN, Alhaji Debo Ahmed, in separate interviews with New Telegraph, said the trans-Saharan gas pipeline project was a welcome development.
They added that if maximised, it would transform Nigeria and the international community. According to them, the project will provide an international market for Nigeria’s abundant gas resources and increase the country’s foreign exchange earnings. Nigeria, Algeria and Niger signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to build a natural gas pipeline across the Sahara Desert.
The MoU was recently signed in Algiers by Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva; Algerian Minister of Energy and Mines, Arkab and Niger Minister of Energy and Renewables, Mahamane Mahamadou.
The pipeline is expected to span around 4,000 kilometres and has been slated to start in Warri, Nigeria, and end in Hassi R’Mel, Algeria, where it would connect to existing pipelines that run to Europe.
Sylva recently said the value of Nigeria’s proven gas reserves of about 206.53 trillion cubic feet was over $803.4 trillion and a potential upside of 600TCF of gas, adding that Nigeria has the most extensive gas resource in Africa. Isong described the $13 billion trans-Saharan gas pipeline project as an ambitious project, adding that such was needed to pull Nigeria out of its present economic doldrums.
He urged the Federal Government to carry Nigerians along in the implementation of the project. He said government needed to communicate effectively to Nigerians what the project is and the potential benefits so as to get their buy-in. Isong said: “It is very ambitious.
That is what Nigeria needs. Nigeria needs to be ambitious right now. We need this sort of big ambitious goal to lead our country out of the quagmire we have found ourselves right now.
“It is a good idea and a good initiative. Government needs to carry Nigerians along. Government needs to do more in motivating and communicating with Nigerians.
“There should be adequate discussions with Nigerians on the direction we must take and to convince them that this is the direction we must go together and be consistent. You cannot be telling people to tighten their belts and you are living opulence or extravagantly. Government should maximise these opportunities.”
IPMAN boss, Ahmed, said the project, if well executed, would make Nigeria a great country. He stated that it would increase the interest of the international community, especially the European Union, in Nigeria.
He also said that it would create employment opportunities for the teeming unemployed Nigerians, provide great value for Nigeria’s gas and accelerates a good image for Nigeria. According to him, it will increase Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings and boost the country’s growth and development. Ahmed said: “It is also a welcome idea. The nations where this gas pipeline will pass through will be interested too.
It is going to be a transinternational gas supply like Russia has been doing to all the European countries. Nigeria is going to be a great country, supplying gas to all these areas. “We have abundant gas reserves but we do not have the means of storing and keeping them.
Now that we have got a way of selling them, to Europe where the consumption is high, it will really create a great international market and boost the good image of Nigeria.
“It is a good idea. It will enhance our income and boost our development. The government should utilise this opportunity very well to create wealth, income and employment for the country.”