The Group Executive Director in charge of Strategy, Capital Projects and Portfolio Development, Dangote Industries Limited (DIL), Mr. Devakumar Edwin, has urged the federal government to deploy new strategy to unlock the potentials and maximise the use of the available vast natural gas resources to improve the nation’s economy.
Edwin said there was the need to find ways to exploit and utilise Nigeria’s natural gas resources to impact positively on the nation’s economy.
Edwin was on a panel at a session of BusinessDay Newspaper’s Energy Series 2020 Virtual Conference with the theme: “Gas Market Development – the Opportunities, Drivers and Challenges.”
He emphasised the necessity for managers of the nation’s oil and gas sector to adding value to natural gas in order to transform Nigeria from exporter of raw materials to exporter of finished products.
According to him, adding value to natural gas would strengthen the petrochemical industry and thus making it possible for the country to change from exporting raw materials to value-added products supplier. “In the same vein, it will boost the economy and solve the “hydra – headed” problem of unemployment in Nigeria with its multiplier employment effect”, he stated.
The DIL helmsman noted: “The industry uses a varieties of hydrocarbon feedstock from refinery and natural gas. One of the problems facing the industry is lack of reliable feedstock supplies. Nigeria has the potential to be a major petrochemicals producer. With proven gas reserves, not much has been accomplished with respect to the effective exploitation and utilization of this resource as most of the nation’s natural gas production has been liquefied for export.
“In sub-Saharan Africa, we produce raw materials and export to other countries. Our products are refined or manufactured and exported back into the continent. Really, the raw materials are taken out and value added and brought back to the continent.
“Nigeria has done well in respect to the reduction of gas flaring to almost 10 per cent and exporting natural gas to generate revenue.
But, our focus at Dangote is how to add value to the natural gas. After all, this Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) that is being imported by various countries is used as fixed stock. They use this natural gas to generate power, fuel and as feedstock. The value-added products are thereby exported to Nigeria.