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By Amby Uneze
The federal government has explained that its National Gas Expansion Programme (NGEP) was envisioned to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty.
This is done through the establishment of gas-related outlets that would serve the public when fully realised.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva disclosed this at a 2-day programme of the NGEP organised by the Imo State government in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources in Owerri, recently.
NGEP he said was designed to reinforce and to expand gas supply as well as to stimulate demand to Nigeria, adding that the programme had already taken place in Ekiti and Anambra states.
In realisation of this objective, the minister said 2020 was declared the year of gas with a subsequent inauguration of a committee on Natural Gas Expansion Programme on January 16th, 2020.
With proven gas reserves of over 200 trillion cubic feet (tcf) and upsides of over 600 tcf, the minister explained that natural gas presents an opportunity for the nation to use gas as the catalyst for its socio economic renaissance.
He commended Governor Hope Uzodinma over his commitment, passion and support for the programme and enjoined Imo residents to embrace it.
Uzodinma who was represented by the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Hon. Paul Emeziem described the programme as that of change, loaded with cost, efficiency and sustainability alternatives among others.
The governor commended the federal government for initiating the programme insisting that it is a progress in the area of development and civilization of mankind.
“The federal government has done its bit and it is a process of enhancement and our life process and it will create employment opportunity for our people” he stated, even as the programme attracted goodwill messages from a number of Imo state government officials, including Chief Enyinna Onuegbu, Commissioner for Power in the state.