Minister of state for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylvia has decried Nigeria’s per capita consumption of gas which is the lowest in the Sub-Saharan African region despite boasting of a 206 trillion standard cubic feet of gas reserves and topping major countries in terms of gas reserves.
Sylva stated this at the 2021 at the Annual Sub-Saharan African Oil and Gas Conference tagged ‘‘The future of Upstream and Deepwater Development, Advancing Digitization and Gas Development Options in Sub-Saharan Africa” and organised by Energy & Corporate Africa.
Nigeria consumed 3,192 cubic feet of natural gas per capita every year (based on the 2017 population of 190,873,244 people), or 9 cubic feet per capita per day, according to data from Worldometer.
With rapidly growing population of Nigeria, expected outnumber that of USA in about 20 years, Sylvia feared that the upsurge in the continent’s population could be challenging if not treated as an opportunity.
“According to UN predictions, the present global population of 7.6 billion people will grow to 8.6 billion in 2030, 9.7 billion in 2050, and 10.6 billion in 2060. And in the year 2100, there will be 11.2 billion people on earth.
“A small number of countries will be responsible for the majority of the global growth. Half of the world’s population increase is anticipated to occur in just five nations in Africa between 2017 and 2050. They are Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, the United Republic of Tanzania, and Uganda,” he said.
Speaking at the conference, which held in Houston, Sylvia said a reform of the global and regional energy systems in Sub-Saharan Africa was sacrosanct, adding that there was need to persist in expanding the role and opportunities of natural gas towards recovery and shared prosperity for a sustainable Sub-Sahara Africa and the world in general.
According to him, while Nigeria currently holds approximately 206 Trillion Cubic Feet (TCF) in proven gas reserves, ranking among the top ten in the world with over 600 TCF unproven, current per capita consumption of gas in Nigeria is one of the lowest within the sub region.
“Hence, the current policy of Government is to promote the utilization of Natural Gas in Nigeria. It is expected that Natural Gas will provide the much-needed alternative to Premium Motor Spirit (PMS or Petrol) and firewood,” Sylvia said.
The minister noted that the lessons of COVID-19 must make the continent focus on reengineering supply chains for the new world order, stressing that the industry is no stranger to supply and demand shocks, having faced more than a dozen such jolts over the course of the past four decades.
Sylva also noted that a single government would not be able to do it all alone, as there was need for collaborate as a region across broad spectrum and dimensions.
Coming on the heels of the signing of the Petroleum Industry Act, the conference celebrated the efforts being made in the industry in Nigeria as the minister was conferred with the Africa Leadership Award for his leadership role in ensuring stability and growth in the Nigeria oil industry.
The group managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mele Kyari – GMD was conferred with the transformational leadership award while Dr. ABC Orjiako – Chairman SEPLAT Energy was honored for top indigenous entrepreneur in the energy sector.
Innovative leadership award went to Mike Sangster, managing director of Total Energies Nigeria/Chairman OPTS. While NJ Ayuk, Chairman, African Energy Chamber won the award for Advocacy.
Other recipients were GNPC Ghana for human capital development, Chevron Nigeria Limited for Community Relations, SNEPCO for Local Content Development, SEPLAT – Largest indigenous domestic supplier of gas, Total Energies Nigeria for Egina FPSO and innovative Technology, and BG Technical as Asset Integrity Champion.