Why Nigeria can’t continue to depend on crude oil- NSE chair

The Chairman, Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Bwari Branch, FCT, Dr Halimat Adediran, has said that Nigeria cannot continue to depend solely on crude oil for her foreign exchange earnings after.

The Chairman made this assertion on Thursday in Abuja at the 2022 Annual Public Lecture organized by the Bwari branch of the engineers, in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources.

The theme of the lecture is “Inclusive energy transition: The key issues, investment opportunities and barriers towards actualising the decade of gas initiative in Nigeria”.

She said that as a country, we should begin to make concerted efforts to migrate from an energy importing nation to an energy exporting nation, just as Egypt already did.

She stated that the passage of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) by the current administration had generous fiscal provisions which aimed at attracting investment in gas exploitation and exploration.

“The PIA is a game changer for us as a people and all stakeholders but some of us are still oblivious of its enormous opportunities.

“The time for us to start this transition to a cleaner source of energy is now, since the year 2021 to 2030 has been declared the “Decade of Gas” in Nigeria.

“It will interest you all to know that Nigeria has more gas deposits than crude oil.

“We have the largest on this continent with approximately 206.53TCF of proven gas reserves worth over 803.4 trillion dollars as at 1st of January, 2021 and we are in the top 10 globally.

“The total domestic gas demand requirement (DGDR) in Nigeria stands at 4.482 billion Standard Cubic per day,’’ she stressed.

The Bwari Chairman of Engineers however commended the theme for the lecture saying that it is a theme in the right direction.

According to her, all nations of the world that were signatories to the Paris Accord on Climate Change have the mandate to drastically reduce and eventually ensure zero emission of greenhouse gasses by 2060.

Speaking at the event, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs. Sen. Godswill Akpabio, called for a technology transfer initiative that can help young engineers to deepen their technical proficiency.

The minister said that with technology transfer, young engineers could become employers of labour and own construction firms that could compete with Julius Berger and other giant companies.

Akpabio added that most young engineers of these days are more theoretically grounded than practically equipped, saying that there was a need to change the narrative that will benefit the country.

“I look forward to when we will have wholly owned Nigerian construction firms in the likes of Julius Berger, CCECC, Setraco, Mothercat among others in Nigeria.

“There is a need to expose these young engineers to frequent training and re-trainings to make them compete favourably with their counterparts all over the world, engineering is critical to a vast facet of our national life; it is a profession that permeates every facet of our lives.

“Indeed, there is hardly an aspect of life that does not need input from engineering even if minimally; that is why engineering continues to occupy a critical role in national development.

“Your gathering for the 2022 public lecture with focus on the gas sector demonstrates the group’s understanding of the time and its determination to contribute to National Economic Growth.

“With consistent rubbing of minds as the case of this public lecture, I foresee greater horizon for the NSE and indeed our engineers, | have no reservation in asserting that the current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has made the NSE proud,” he said.

Akpabio stated that the current administration had achieved revolution in the building of public infrastructure, as the rail lines have been constructed and trains are coming into life, and it has been adjudged to have constructed more roads than the previous administrations.

He said that the second Niger Bridge which had long enjoyed more political rhetoric than action, is now visually evidential with work progressing at an appreciable speed.

According to him, “I engaged 17 indigenous construction companies and they did not disappoint while in power as a governor of Akwa Ibom state, adding that he foresees the country’s engineers doing all the infrastructural work and others in the country.

Also, Mr Tasiu Gidari-Wudil, the National President, NSE, said that the significance of the oil and gas sector could not be over emphasised as it served as a major part of the nation’s economy.

“I am looking forward to seeing when all cars in Nigeria run on gas, it is already happening and I challenge my fellow engineers to come up with more unique and economic designs in this regard,” he said. (NAN)

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