Wabote: Nigeria in Darkness, But Electrifies Other Countries


Chineme Okafor in Abuja

While Nigeria remains in darkness, the country however sells to other countries, an average of 22 million metric tons per annum (mtpa) of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to provide electricity that powers their homes and industries, the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development Management Board (NCDMB), Mr. Simbi Wabote, has disclosed.

Wabote, equally said in a presentation he made at the just concluded 2018 edition of the Nigerian Gas Association (NGA) conference and exhibition in Abuja, that every day the country spends $78 million on imported petroleum products, as well as $3 million every hour on same.
Speaking on the topic, ‘deepening local content participation in the gas industry: unpacking the bigger picture’, Wabote, stated that Nigeria’s energy challenges were ironical.

He maintained the country could export gas and still use same to power her economy with neither of the two endeavors taking a back seat.

“We have heard for decades that Nigeria is a gas province with pockets of oil. We have 180 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves which is considered the largest in Africa and the 9th largest in the world.

“Our gas reserves is more than double that of Canada and five times that of Netherlands. But electricity generation in Netherlands is five times more than that of Nigeria while Canada generates 20 times more than what we currently churn out,” said Wabote.
According to him: “The irony of our energy balance is largely known. We export crude oil and import refined products daily spending about $76 million every day or $3million every hour on petroleum products.

“We export 22 million tonnes of LNG cargoes every year to light up other countries while we sleep in darkness. Yet the gas reserves is enough to support our domestic and export requirements for many years to come.”

Speaking further on how Nigeria has continued to lose out on the values her gas resources could bring to her, Wabote, stated that the country has over 10 million vehicles nationwide but less than 10,000 of them are running on compressed natural gas (CNG) which he said is cheaper than petrol and more environmentally friendly.

He also said: “You must have heard that the estimated demand for LPG cylinders far outweighs the current manufacturing capacity of 460,000 units per annum.
“There is an unmet demand in excess of 20 million cylinders. There is also the opportunity to manufacture accessories such as hoses, valves, clips, burners, and others.

“At a conference last year, I highlighted that in 2016 alone, the country flared about 245 billion standard cubic feet of natural gas equivalent to $490 million. In 2017, DPR reported that the country flared 324BCF of gas equivalent to about $650 million in burnt revenue.”

“The amount of gas flared in 2017 was enough to generate 3,000MW of electricity in one year or could have been processed to produce 600,000 metric tonne of LPG,” he added.
He said he was worried the country would likely remain the same without taking steps to overturn these anomalies, and thus challenged the new executives of the NGA to push for a shift in the conversation.