By Gift Chapi Odekina
The Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Company has called for a partnership with the House of Representatives Committee on Gas Resources to displace firewood and replace it with Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LGP) also known as cooking gas.
Mrs. Eyono Fatayi-Williams, the General Manager, External Relations and Sustainable Development made the call in Abuja.
Making reference to media publications, Fatayi-Williams said that over 470,000 persons die from firewood smoke in five years.
Also quoting Word Bank data, she said about a 100,000 Nigerians die annually due to firewood smoke inhalation mostly women and children.
“If you compare this with the number of people who have died of COVID-19 complication which is less than 2000 as reported by NCDC, very little is said about the 100,000 who die of firewood and smoke.
“The use of firewood is a double edge sword, it is not only leading to a significant number of deaths, we also know that cutting timber for firewood leads to deforestation, which later leads to desertification.
“As the desert moves further down, livestock have to move to find water to drink and pasture; these have resulted to some of the security situation we have today.
“It there becomes very important that the cooking gas agenda is supported to displace firewood and kerosine,” she said.
Fatayi-Williams said that in 2007, the national consumption of LPG was 50 tonnes but following the intervention of NLNG, one million tonnes of cooking gas was consumed in Nigeria in 2019.
According to her, the projection is that in another five years, about three million tonnes will be consumed in Nigeria.
“As we displace firewood, we allow trees to grow, we allow the environment to be better and hopefully a better future for our children.
“Cooking gas remains a cleaner alternative to firewood and kerosine,” she said.
Fatayi-Williams said that from 1960 to 1989, the NLNG remained a dream in minds of its founding fathers.
She said that between 1989 and 2019, the NLNG was incorporated and became a limited liability company with four shareholders.
She said that the the NNPC which represents the Federal Government has 49 percent shares while Agip, Shell and Total have 51 per cent shares.
Fatayi-Williams said from 1999, the first cargo sailed from Boni Island in Rivers to France which put the NLNG on the map as an operational company.
“We buy gas, we liquefy it, we transport it and sell it to the buyers and get value for Nigeria LNG and for Nigeria.
“In the 21 years we have operated, we have delivered 5000 LNG cargoes around the world and we have 23 dedicated LNG ships to ensure our operation runs smoothly.
“On Bonny island we have six installed and operation LNG trains (the train is also known as LNG manufacturing line) of 22 million tonnes capacity.
“Our installed asset is 11 billion dollars, today we have generated 108 billion dollars in revenue since inception and have delivered 35 billion dollars in dividends to the shareholders in the 21 years that we have operated and have paid eight billion dollars in taxes,” she said.
Fatayi-Williams said that in the early days of crude oil exploration, 65 per cent of gas was flared.
According to her, less than 12 per cent of the gas which is produced with crude is flared, this shows where we stand as a country.
According to her Nigeria is currently rated 9th in the world with 200 Trillion Cubic Feet (TCF) of proven gas reserves.
She said that the 600 TCF of unproven gas reserves, if monitised, Nigeria will ran 4th globally in he ranking order of proven gas reserves in the world.
Earlier, the Managing Director of NLNG, Mr Tony Attah told the lawmakers that it was time to unleash the potential in gas.
He said there are many countries Nigeria could look up to in terms of what gas can do like in Qatar, Trinidad and Tobego and in the Netherlands.
“We are ready to partner with your committee to bring about that progress that is required to unleash the potentials of gas.
“We have the potential to become number four in the world, we have 200 TCF proven and we know of 600 TCF unproven; if we prove that, Nigeria will become fourth in the world.”
The Chairman of the Committee, Rep. Nicholas Mutu (PDP-Delta) said that the committee is committed to supporting initiatives that will aid to accelerate investments in the production and processing gas.
He said that it was with a view to consolidating Nigeria’s gas export opportunities and more importantly to enhance massive gas penetration and utilisation in the domestic market.
“In this regards we invite you to provide the Committee with strategies that will help to attract investments in the gas sector and to attain gas penetration in Nigeria.
“The Committee is also keen on promoting optimisation of resources by the re-utilisation of by-products to enhance the gas value chain and create opportunities for those in the downstream of the value chain.”