Inaugurating the nine-member Governing Council of the Midstream and Downstream Gas Infrastructure Fund (MDGIF), Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, said more than $20 billion is required to bridge the gas infrastructure deficit in the country.
Sylvia noted that poor gas infrastructure had led to low gas production, gas flaring and minimal domestic gas utilisation across the country.
“It is estimated that more than $20 billion annually will be required over the next 10 years to bridge these gaps,” he said.
“This will drive economic development and prosperity for our people, our nation and value to our partners, by the Petroleum Industry Act 2021 (PIA).”
Established under Section 52 of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), MDGIF resides as a directorate in the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA).
As a Directorate within NMDPRA, the minister said that MDGIF would be expected to benefit from its internal reporting, operational and organisational processes.
In line with the provisions of the PIA, the council would supervise and make investment decisions for the fund, Sylva said.
Section 52 (3) of the PIA provides for the Governing Council to supervise and make investment decisions for the Fund. He charged members of the Council to take urgent steps to realize the objectives of setting up the Fund.
“There is an urgent need to focus on the major strategic plans and key initiatives to enable government set a clear trajectory to achieving the noble objectives of establishing the fund,” he said.
The task of the Council include identifying critical and relevant stakeholders that can increase domestic utilisation of natural gas, LPG and Auto gas.
The council has the Minister of State Petroleum Resources , Sylva as Chairman; Authority Chief Executive, NMDPRA, Engr. Farouk Ahmed as member; and Executive Director MDGIF, Mansur Kuliya as member. Other members of the Council include: Dr Scholastica Nnaji, representing the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN); Victor Omata, representing Federal Ministry of Finance ; Ahmed Bobboi; Abdullahi Bukar and Effiong Abia, Jaafar Abubakar, Legal Adviser, NMDPRA as the Secretary to the Council.
Amid global push towards energy transition, Nigerian government has adopted gas as its transition fuel with commitment to achieve zero carbon emission by 2060. In 2021, President Muhammadu Buhari, declared 2021-2030 as the Decade of Gas in Nigeria. The initiative aims to make Nigeria a gas powered economy by 2030. The country needs at least $40 billion investments to achieve the objectives of the initiative, according to the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited.