Reps Condemn $750m Yearly Loss To Gas Flaring
The House of Representatives says Nigeria is losing about $750m to gas flaring annually.
It added that the flared gas could have been used to generate electricity for the country.
The Federal Government has, however, said it is committed to eliminating gas flaring by 2025.
According to the government, ending gas flaring will allow the country to harness its gas resources for maximum economic benefits and in compliance with the Paris Agreement of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
The joint House Committee on Gas Resources, Environment and Climate Change organised a public hearing on the need to end gas flaring in the country in Abuja on Monday.
Chairman of the House Committee on Gas Resources, Nicholas Mutu, said available records showed that the country was losing $750m annually from flared gas.
Mutu said, “Gas flare is a malady that we must work together to eliminate at the shortest time possible because of its all-round adverse effects on the environment and socioeconomic wellbeing of the people of Niger Delta region, as well as on the fiscal measures of the Federal Government.
“At current estimates by PricewaterhouseCoopers, Nigeria loses over $750m in annual revenue from flared gas.
“The gas that is being flared can serve as feedstock for other industries which, if properly harnessed.”
While commending the government for the 2018 Gas Flare regulation, which imposes a penalty of $2 per million standard cubic feet of flared gas, he stressed the need for compliance with the provisions of the penalty regime.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, stated that gas flaring was an issue that the ministry took seriously, especially as there was a global agreement to eliminate it.
Sylva said the country has reduced gas flaring significantly to a very minimal level of eight per cent.
He said, “If you all recall last year, the Ministry of Petroleum started what we call the National Gas Expansion Programme and we declared year 2020 as the ‘Year of Gas’.
“At the beginning of this year, we declared year 2021 ‘The Beginning of the Gas Decade.’ We believe that with all the programmes we have in place, we are on course to achieve complete elimination of gas flaring by year 2025.”
The minister admitted that the initial date of 2020 was not feasible.
He recalled that the ministry rolled out a gas penetration programme in December 2020 which was aggressively seeking to attain total elimination and utilisation of gas being flared in the country.
Also, the Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mele Kyari, noted that one of the ways of ending gas flaring was to harness its economic value.
He said even after imposing penalty on operators in the sector, only an economic driven solution may be needed.
Also, the Minister of Environment, Dr Muhammed Abubakar, who was represented by the Director of Environment, Abbah Suleman, stated that gas flaring was one environmental challenge that must be tackled.
The Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, who was represented by Chairman of the House Committee on Judiciary, Onofiok Luke, decried that all conversations about ending gas flaring had not yielded the desired results.