Dr Ernest Azudialu-Obiejesi, the Chairman and CEO of Nestoil Limited has demanded that Nigeria’s Federal Government should construct more pipelines that can ensure easy transportation of natural gas across the country, particularly to power stations.
The businessman made this demand while speaking at the 2018 International Pipeline Technology and Security Conference which took place on Tuesday (September 11th) in Abuja.
Why more pipelines are urgently needed
The CEO gave many reasons why more pipelines are needed in Nigeria. According to him, not only is it imperative for Nigeria to find efficient ways of extracting the huge deposits of natural gas that abounds in the country, but the country must also ensure easier access to the resource by those who need it most.
This is because natural gas and its associated components are the necessary raw materials that will ultimately ensure Nigeria’s industrialisation, if only it efficiently utilised.
“Nigeria, with its abundant reserves of petroleum and gas, stands on the threshold of its own industrial revolution. To kick-start this industrialisation, we must not only extract these resources in the most efficient manner, but also refine and deliver them efficiently, and in a secure and cost-effective manner.
“When the proper pipeline network exists and runs reliably, products are always delivered on time, eliminating the need to build hundreds of storage/holding facilities all over the country.” – Azudialu-Obiejesi
He went further to state that by ensuring widespread pipeline connection in Nigeria, the Government would help to minimise (if not forestall) the rampant incidents of fuel tanker accidents along major highways in the country.
He also frowned at the use of cylinders for the distribution of cooking gas, describing the method as archaic. This is another thing widespread pipeline construction can eliminate.
But there are challenges mitigating against pipelines in Nigeria
Vandalism and sabotage and lack of maintenance are some of the challenges currently mitigating against the use of pipelines for gas distribution in Nigeria. The activities of militants in the Niger-Delta region in the past have led to the destruction of several pipelines, thereby resulting in untold environmental catastrophes.
This raises concerns as to whether pipelines are indeed the best means to transport oil and gas in Nigeria.
That notwithstanding, the Government has made efforts in recent times to increase the number of pipelines in the country, whilst faced with a different kind of challenge. As we reported yesterday, the multi-billion dollars Trans-Nigeria Gas Pipeline Project (TNGP) is almost deadlocked due to a contractual dispute between the NNPC and consortium handling the project.