The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, said on Monday that the Federal Government’s National Gas Expansion Programme was expected to lift over 100 million Nigerians out of poverty.
Sylva said the programme was “a practical demonstration of President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty by using gas value chain as catalyst for social and economic development in Nigeria”.
He spoke in Ado Ekiti during the inauguration of the NGEP in Southwest Nigeria as part of efforts to make gas an alternative energy for industrial, transportation and domestic use.
The minister said, “The programme has its main objective to reinforce and expand gas supply as well as stimulate demand in Nigeria through effective and efficient mobilisation and utilisation of all available assets, resources and infrastructure in the country.
“The programme is geared towards the implementation of Mr President June 12, 2019 promise to take hundred million Nigerians out of poverty within the current decade by ensuring that locally produced, available, accessible and affordable fuel is sufficiently supplied across the country”.
Sylva said Nigeria was richly endowed with mineral resources, specifically, hydrocarbons, crude oil and natural gas with proven gas reserves of over 200 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, which he said had presented the country with opportunity to use gas as a catalyst for social economy renaissance.
Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, lauded Buhari’s dedication to implementing programmes directed at improving the lives of the people through job creation, social security schemes, stimulating the economy, and attending to security challenges in the nation.
Fayemi said that his administration would continue to key into life lifting programmes of the Buhari-led administration to improve the standard of living of the people of the State.
He said, “While we are in full support of the Federal Government in the implementation of NGEP in the state, our ultimate goal is to connect the state directly with gas supply via either Ajaokuta in Kogi State or Ore in Ondo State; the two points that offer our state the best opportunity for connection. We therefore plead with private sector players and the ministry to assist us in this venture.”
He said his administration recognised the various benefits embedded in the NGEP initiative ranging from reduction of importation of fuel to creation of employment opportunity for the youths and improvement of access to gas for transportation and domestics use at affordable price in the State.