Chineme Okafor in Abuja
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has said that it has put in place measures to reduce the flare of gas at its oil fields preparatory to the 2020 flare out deadline issued by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR).
NNPCâ€™s Group Managing Director, Dr. Maikanti Baru, who was represented by the Managing Director of the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), Mr. Yusuf Matashi, made this disclosure recently at the National Assembly Complex Abuja, during a one-day public hearing on â€˜Gas Flaring Prohibition Bill 2017â€™.
Baru, said the NNPC was strongly in support of the legislation to reduce gas flaring, adding that its consideration of the legislation was from the environmental and financial benefits it promised the country, rather than from the perspective of penalising defaulting parties.
A statement from the Group General Manager, Public Affairs, NNPC, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, quoted Baru as saying that â€œNNPC supports the legislative intervention to prohibit gas flaring in line with global best practices, considering its negative impacts on the environment and the communities where the gas is flared.â€
The statement added: â€œNPDC, the Exploration and Production (E&P) arm of the corporation is going ahead to see that the monetisation of flared gas is realised despite the challenges of the past.â€
He also informed that NPDC was the highest gas supplier to Nigerian domestic market and was therefore committed to the reduction and elimination of gas flare to generate more revenue for the country.
The statement equally noted that the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, who was represented by the Deputy Majority Leader, Senator Bala Ibn Nallah, at the hearing, stated while declaring open the public hearing that the issue of gas flaring was a national embarrassment.
Saraki added that the current assembly of the senators was committed to enacting a legislation that would end gas flaring in the country.
â€œGas flaring is as old as crude oil exploration in the country. We are, therefore, committed to this legislation which seeks to put an end to gas flaring which has deprived the nation of huge revenue, impacted the lives of oil producing areas negatively and depleted the ozone layers,â€ Saraki stated.
Also, on his part, the Senate Committee Chairman on Gas, Senator Albert Bassey, stated that the â€œGas Flaring Prohibition Bill 2017â€ would serve as a legislative panacea to end gas flaring in the country.
Bassey, explained that the public hearing was to collate views of relevant stakeholders that would enrich the bill and find a lasting solution to the challenge of gas flaring in line with the Paris Agreement on clean environment and World Bank 2030 flare out deadline.
endorsed the position of NALPGAM that â€˜one man one vote,â€™ shall apply in the NLPGA elections scheduled for this month, pending the amendment of the constitution to reflect the position of the World LPG Association.
He, however, disclosed that after a communiquÃ© reached at the end of the meeting was prepared two weeks later, officials of NLPGA refused to sign the document.
According to him, the looming crisis has the potential to erode the gains recorded by the stakeholders in deepening the LPG market in the country in recent years.