By Gift Chapi Odekina
The Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Timipre Slyva has disclosed that his ministry is determined to end gas flaring in the country by year 2025.
The minister stated this at a public hearing held in Abuja which was sequel to the resolution reached by House at plenary, that its joint committee investigates the level of devastation caused by gas flaring and the level of regulatory compliance by multinationals in the Petroleum Upstream sector in Nigeria.
According to Slyva, the public hearing was an opportunity to update records adding that the implementation of the National Gas Expansion Program, total utilization of flared gas had increased tremendously.
The Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation ( NNPC), Mele Kyari speaking at the hearing posited that the only way to end gas flaring is to give the flared gas economical value through commercialisation.
Speaking further, Kyari called for stiffer penalties on defaulting companies.
“If penalty for gas flaring is lesser than the cost of stopping it, companies will prefer to continue to flare gas and pay the penalty.
He also noted that government was already executing a Nigeria Gas Commercialisation Program , with submission of applications from 96 out of the 200 companies that indicated interest.
Declaring the hearing open, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila regrets that conversation about gas flaring in Nigeria has been on for a long time but has not yielded the desired results.
Speaker who was represented by Rep. Onofiok Luke said that the 9th House of Representatives intends to do everything it can to change the narrative by resolving policy disagreements and other issues that have mitigated against the effective utilisation of gas resources.
He added that the House will take legislative action through bills and oversight to achieve the ambitions it hold in this regard.
On his part, Rep Nicholas Mutu, chairman of the House Committee on Gas Resources, àaaemphasis’ that Nigeria loses over $750 million in annual revenue from flared gas.
He added that investigations show that over 250 identified toxins and metals are released in the Niger Delta region from gas flaring.
During the deliberations, some stakeholders were of the view that gas flaring penalties paid by defaulting companies should go to host communities instead of the federal government.