Nigeria has urged members of the Gas Exporting Countries’ Forum (GECF) to develop policies that support accelerated growth of efficient domestic gas economy. This position was expressed by Vice President Arc Mohammed Namadi Sambo, who stood in for President Goodluck Jonathan, at the First Gas Summit, in Doha, Qatar.
The Vice President called on member states to develop policies that support accelerated growth of efficient domestic gas markets in our respective countries, thus providing the bedrock for a sustainable gas economy.
He also said given the realities of supply, we must inevitably channel our policies towards efficiency in supply, stimulation of demand and competitiveness in market. This forum like no other, gives us that unique chance to begin to take charge of our destinies as major gas resource holders for our own benefit and for the world at large.
Arc Sambo stressed the need for members to provide a platform to share resources on policies, agreement templates and open access codes amongst others.
VP Sambo seized the opportunity to task members to look at new frontiers for the utilisation of gas particularly in the transport sector, which is a key growth area in the future.
Speaking further VP Sambo stated that Nigeria had made considerable inroad in the development of her natural gas reserves estimated at 187 Trillion Cubic Feet, especially with the launch of the Gas Revolution Initiatives, aimed at creating a highly competitive gas sector, and facilitating job creation.
According to him the initiative would position Nigeria as a regional gas hub for gas based industries such as fertiliser and methanol petrochemicals, while also consolidating Nigerian’s footprint in high value export LNG and regional gas pipeline.
The Vice President disclosed that government’s aim was to make Nigeria one of the world’s top three in LNG exports, by 2017, contributing almost 7 per cent of required global additional capacity of about 400 Million Tons Per Annum by the end of the decade.
Vice President Sambo who assured that Nigeria shares in the general policy thrust of the forum admonished that “our relevance is tightly keyed to the sustained growth of the gas market and the sustainability of that relevance, is to the extent that it supports a stable home base were youths are gainfully employed and true wealth is created for our people.”
In his remarks the host of the Summit and the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalif Al-Thani, appealed for synergy and collaboration of all members to the realisation of its goals as well as to reassure gas consumers that protection of exportersâ€™ interest is not at their expense.
The Emir added that the forum provided a veritable avenue where decision makers, experts and specialist meet to rub minds on the way forward for the gas industry.
The Summit had the theme Natural Gas: “The answer to the 21st Century’s sustainable development.” Some of the key resolutions were to continue to work together in providing efficient reliable gas supplies to ensure the stability of world gas markets and to reach a fair price for natural gas based on gas to oil/oil producer price index.
Others were to recognise the importance of long term gas contracts to achieve a balanced risk sharing mechanism between producers and consumers; economic and social development as top priorities as well as to promote and develop new and effective channels of dialogue between producers and consumers.
Also included were, to continue consultations with non-member gas producing and exporting countries; ensure the security of trans-border gas transit infrastructure; support efforts at addressing global environmental challenges and also to highlight the importance of natural gas as a green fuel.
The GECF was established in 2001 with an initial 11 gas producer countries comprising, Algeria, Bolivia, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Iran, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Russia, Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela. Oman recently joined the forum, making it the 12th country. The GECF has its secretariat in Doha, Qatar.