BY BAYO AMODU, Abuja –
Nigeria can make a whopping N56billion in 3 years by reviving the coal industry, especially with the use of coal briquettes for industrial and domestic use, economic experts in the country have said.
They told LEADERSHIP that the use of coal briquettes will help in the diversification agenda of the federal government, especially as the global market for oil and gas appears to be shrinking by the day.
An industrial pharmacist and specialist in marketing new technologies, Mr Emmanuel Nwankwo, said Nigeria really needs to go back to basics, which is the use of coal since it has it in abundance, starting from Enugu State.
He said, ‘‘Nigeria once invested in coal but when the issue of oil came up, the coal sector was neglected. Before the discovery of oil and gas, Nigeria thrived on coal. We ran our industries on coal starting from the Kalangri cement to rail roads to major factories, including breweries. When oil came, people got lazy and everybody went into oil which made the economy suffer eventually.
‘‘Now, the common man found out that they couldn’t even afford Kerosine they normally buy. So, they resorted to cutting down trees to make firewood and charcoal out of it. Nigerians should ask themselves if the country is now better off with the oil and gas without coal.
“No! We are not better off. There are millions of Nigerians displaced who were working in the coal system from the upstream to the downstream. They were all disconnected out of job. So, we are going to find a way to revive the coal industry to bring back jobs and hope to the system”.
The experts said diversification of coal into other areas that will move the economy is necessary because the use of coal has now been totally repackaged, redefined and there is a brand new analysis of how to use more cleaner coal that will erode all the negativity it had before.
Nwankwo continued: “It is a brand technology, innovation to use coal for domestic, household, industrial as well as institutional use consumption. We use this coal briquettes and the biggest advantage is that it will stop people from falling down trees.
‘‘People will no longer need to cut down trees and it will restore our forestation. This will also make us encourage people to plant trees. We will make people plant two trees for cutting down one. This will happen when our parents, the elderly, the poor in various communities as well as men and women and youths know that they will not be disconnected from selling their firewood or their charcoal, but rather will be offered something that is better than the firewood and charcoal to continue their trade.
“They will be supplied with the briquettes and the stove in place of the firewood and charcoals to enable them continue their businesses, which will be more rewarding”.
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