By Margaret Nongo-Okojokwu
Chief Executive officer of Frontier Oil Limited, Mr. Dada Thomas has called for a review of Nigeria’s Gas Master Plan so as to eliminate the challenges hindering its implementation.
Addressing newsmen in Lagos, Thomas, however, stated that the Gas Master Plan is a very commendable initiative due to the fact that it provides a holistic master plan for the rollout for a gas plant for Nigeria and other projects.
“I think the big problem with the Gas Master Plan is it is a huge budget; it is a very ambitious project and the nature of large projects is that they are subject to problems.
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“And in Nigeria in particular, it has been subject to funding problem and execution problem because it is been directly implemented by government and all in all it is a project with the ambition of it and the non-standard nature of it makes it difficult to make it readily and easy to execute,” he argued.
He maintained that the master Plan needs to be reviewed, its scope changed, while a greater part of the role should be assigned to the private sector, who should be encouraged to take the aspect given to them and run with it.
REASONS TO THE GAS MASTER PLAN REVIEW
He said, “When you are not funding a project properly as it ought to be you would run into many problems. I have said it before I am not a supporter of government directly running businesses. Government should create environment for businesses and the private sector to run projects and run businesses. The Gas Master Plan is actually a good thing, but it is suffering an execution problem.
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He called on the Federal Government and other stakeholders to encourage the increased use of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), as it is cheaper and cleaner than Premium Motor Spirit, PMS.
“CNG is a good development for Nigeria; it is just a shame that we don’t have two critical things that will make it even better; a proper rail system and a proper road network.
“Many of the estates along Lekki are been powered by CNG power generation systems. The Lagos State power plant at Lekki and Marina are powered by compressed natural gas system. If you go to Ota CNG is plentiful in that area.
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“CNG is a very good thing. It is a technology we need to use a lot more. It allows stranded power generation and consumers to generate power economically. It is far better than diesel any day of the week.
Furthermore, Thomas stated that Frontier Oil is considering building a refinery in Nigeria and it is also taking steps position the company strategically, making it possible to compete in the global petroleum industry.
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He said, “We as a company, we are trying to grow and we are looking for mergers, acquisitions and new assets. One of our strategies is to look at local value addition.
“For us, a refinery is what we will look at. If we don’t undertake it we look for a party that is willing to undertake it.”