The Dangote group has urged the Federal Government to deploy new strategies to unlock the potentials and make maximal use of the country’s available vast natural gas resources.
Mr. Devakumar Edwin. the Group Executive Director, Strategy, Capital Projects and Portfolio Development, Dangote Industries Limited (DIL), said there was the need to find ways to exploit and utilize Nigeria’s natural gas resources to impact positively on the nation’s economy.
Edwin expressed his view being a panellist at a session of Bussinessday Newspaper’s Energy Series 2020 Virtual Conference with the theme: “Gas Market Development – the Opportunities, Drivers and Challenges”.
According to the Dangote Executive, adding value to natural gas would strengthen the petrochemical industry, thus making it possible for the country to change from exporting raw materials to value-add products supplier.
“In the same vein, it will boost the economy and solve the ‘hydra-headed’ problem of unemployment in Nigeria with its multiplier employment effect,” he stated.
“The industry uses varieties of hydrocarbon feedstock from the refinery and natural gas. One of the problems facing the industry is lack of reliable feedstock supplies.
“Nigeria has the potential to be a major petrochemicals producer. With proven gas reserves, not much has been accomplished with respect to the effective exploitation and utilization of this resource as most of the nation’s natural gas production has been liquefied for export.
“In sub-Saharan Africa, we produce raw materials and export to other countries. Our products are refined or manufactured and exported back into the continent. Really, the raw materials are taken out and value added and brought back to the continent.
“Nigeria has done well with respect to the reduction of gas flaring to almost 10 per cent and exporting natural gas to generate revenue.
“But, our focus at Dangote is how to add value to the natural gas. After all, this Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) that is being imported by various countries is used as fixed stock. They use this natural gas to generate power, fuel and as feedstock. The value-added products are thereby exported to Nigeria.
“If you look at petrochemicals, we import almost all our petrochemicals into the country. Fertilizer is also being imported into the country. So, if we focus on adding value to natural gas that we produce in the country and export the finished products, be it fertilizer, petrochemicals, our export revenue will be much larger.”
Similarly, he added that Dangote Industries’ focus is to add value to the country’s gas resources through Dangote Subsea Gas Pipeline Project, which is expected to unlock significant gas supply for industrial activities and considerably reduce flaring in Nigeria.
“The pipeline project will make gas readily available for commercial use; nullify the need for future gas import; lead to diversification of Nigeria’s economy; increase government revenue (and meet the demand for domestic petrochemical products); ensure an increase in Forex from exports and the creation of thousands of direct and indirect jobs,” he explained concerning the Dangote project.