Nigeria's gas under-utilised

Sep 30, 2002 02:00 AM

by Yusuf Ali

Nigeria could join the league of industrialized nations in four years if the country's abundant gas resources are fully utilized and managed, former Managing Director of Unipetrol, Alhaji Yusuf Garba Ali, has said. Ali said he based his views on the experience he garnered from countries like China and Pakistan.
The former boss of Unipetrol said Pakistan, for example, with limited gas resources, has harnessed it for the benefit of its citizens, as the country only uses gas for domestic and not industrial use. He said that the country is so dependent on gas to the extent that it is piped everywhere in Karachi the country's capital.

Ali, who prides himself as the first Nigerian to introduce the utilisation of gas to local industries in the country at Ikeja, Lagos, mentioned that this could be extended to other industries in the country since the nation has more gas than crude oil. According to Ali, gas is cheap, friendly and does not pollute.
If properly utilized, he said, all the housing estates in the country could start using gas for domestic use, adding that gas can be used to generate electricity, extract LPG, and used in breweries particularly as there is ready supply of the product in the country. Ali further said that the amount of money being wasted rehabilitating the National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) was enough to have a network of gas pipeline all over the country. He said once this is done, all that is required is to put a unit in each of the towns to generate electricity for its requirements.

The oil expert, who is also the immediate past chairman of the All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP), said the proper utilization of the country's gas is one of the manifestoes of ANPP. "We said we are going to embark on serious agricultural development and you know with gas, once you pipe in you can make fertilizer, and improve your agricultural output," he said.
He assured that if his party comes to power next year, the country will stop importation of milk and meat and within four years would produce not only enough for local consumption but also for export. While soliciting for the support of Nigerians in next year's general elections, Ali asked Nigerians to take a look at what the ANPP governors have done in their various states, as an extension of what the party would do if elected at the centre.

Noting that private refineries may not be an answer to problems in the Nigerian oil industry, Ali stated that if our refineries are well managed, they can produce even diesel for export.
The former ANPP chairman also said he would not re-contest the national chairmanship position of the party when its convention comes up in November. Ali said that having held the position and being convinced that he has performed well, there was no need to re-contest for the same position again, but to give others a chance to play their own role.

Source: This Day/All Africa Global Media
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