Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma has posited that gas has always been as important as oil and even more crucial than oil, while regretting that successive governments in Nigeria did not give gas utilisation the desired attention.
Uzodimma stated this in his address delivered to the South-east Gas Utilization Forum, held at the Rockview Hotel, Owerri, Imo State Capital on Wednesday, October 14, with the theme: “Natural gas utilisation and optimisation in Nigeria-Fucus on the Eastern hub.
Enumarating the importance of natural gas, Governor Uzodimma said, “But without gas, the progress the nation has made in the power sector would not have been possible. Our administration welcomes any initiative aimed at creating employment for our youths. It is no secret that optimal utilisation of gas will activate industrialization, which will ultimately lead to job creation”.
The governor made bold to say that Imo State account for a quarter of Nigeria’s entire gas reserve, making it the state with the largest and finest gas deposit in the federation and used the opportunity to invite investors in the natural gas sector to consider Imo as their number one bus stop.
In his keynote address at the occasion, the Minister of Patroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva said the easiest way to diversify the nation’s economy was to pay more attention to gas, which he said has a lot of potential.
“We are now driving it, we are now saying we want to use gas to drive our cars, we want to use gas to run our power generating sets. In addition to these, you can actually produce methanol from gas and from methanol, all kinds of things can be produced such as fertilizers and Uria, creating billions of dollars of opportunities in Nigeria”.
The summit attracted all the governors of South Em-ast States who made speeches, through which they assured of their commitment to champion programmes aimed at ensuring gas utilisation and optimisation in the South-east region.
Some of the topics discussed at the summit included; Improving steady power supply in the South-east coordinated by Engr Yusuf Usman, Chief Operating Offer, Gas and Power, NNPC, Impending change to electricity supply in the South-east by Dr Chukwueloka Umeh, Managing Director and C.E.O, Century Power Generation Limited.
Others are; Illustration of gas development and commercialization opportunities in the South-east, Gas availability and reliability, opportunities and challenges in the Eastern region, among others.