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NCDMB’s Wabote, other experts urge Nigeria, African countries to lay emphasis on natural gas

Executive Secretary, NCDMB, Engr Simbi Wabote delivering the Guest Lecture  
Ms. Chigbo giving her welcome address
Chairman of the event, Mr. Oti Ikomi, Founder & CEO, Proton Energy Ltd.
President of the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) Mustapha Isah at the program
Immediate past President of Guild of Corporate Online Publishers (GOCOP) and Publisher of Eagle Online, Mr. Dotun Oladipo (center) with Mr. Gabriel Akinadewo, Publisher, Freedom Online (right) and Mr. Ken Ugbechie, Publisher, Political Economist at the event

By Lydia Ngwakwe

Lagos, Nov. 18, 2021

Speakers at the ninth anniversary lecture of Realnews Magazine have urged Nigeria and indeed African countries to stop the dependence on oil and lay emphasis on natural gas.

The speakers gave the advice at the ninth anniversary lecture and investiture into the Realnews Hall of Fame, on Thursday at the Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos, while discussing the topic: “Nigeria in the Unfolding Integration of the African Market: The Oil and Gas Perspective.”

The speakers noted that Nigeria with its enormous reserves of Gas, needed to tap into these resources to develop her economy.

Mr. Simbi Wabote, Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), noted that Nigeria and other African countries were evidently sitting on oil and gas reserves.

According to him, the African oil map reveals the rapid spread of the discovery of hydrocarbons, especially in the last two decades.

Wabote, who was the Guest Speaker at the event, said that it was estimated that even if the current gas consumption level in Nigeria was doubled, the country’s gas reserves would still last another 50 years .

“Now, there is also a discussion as to 206 DCF as being the full gas reserves. And in some circles, the unproven gas reserves totaling 600 trillion cubic feet of gas.

“Between 2005 and 2015 alone, we had Ghana, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Liberia, Mozambique, Kenya, Tanzania as new additions to the League of countries with hydrocarbon resources.

“Evidently, Africa is particularly sitting in oil and gas reserves. In this year alone, Namibia announced discovery of 120 billion barrels of oil comparable to the Permian Basin in Texas, United States of America.

“Other discoveries include the two billion barrels, discovered in Cote d’Ivoire, 700 million barrels in Ghana and 250 million barrels of oil in Angola as new discoveries.

“With proven oil reserves of 37 billion barrels of oil, which is the largest in the world, and proven gas reserves of 206 trillion cubic feet, which is the ninth largest in the world, Nigeria is also well known as a strategic player in the global oil and gas industry,’’ he said.

The discussants  at the well attended event that was Chaired by Mr. Oti Ikomi, Founder & CEO, Proton Energy Ltd., were Mrs. Eyono Fatai-Williams, General Manager, External Relations Division, Nigeria LNG Ltd. and Ms. Samata Gifty Bukari, Consul General, Ghana Consulate General, Lagos.

Ms. Samata Bukari, Consul General, Ghana Consulate General, urged African leaders to have the political will to leapfrog the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AFCFTA).

“First of all, there is the need to bring all Africans, particularly member states together so as to properly harness AFCFTA since it is the second largest of the world trade organizations that is yet to be implemented.

“It is going to benefit Africa and reduce poverty, it will increase our trade, revive our industries, and a whole lot of technology is now going to be built and learnt in our universities, particularly now that we are moving to the green economy.

“Fortunately again, Africa is lucky to have abundance of sunlight; we have all it takes to go green economy.

“So moving from fossil oils is not going to deter us to develop in any way but the most important thing for us is to have the political will,’’ Bukari said.

Earlier, Ms. Maureen Chigbo, Publisher/Editor Realnews Magazine said that her choice of the topic was borne out of the realisation that at present, the Nigerian economy was heavily dependent on oil.

“As we think of weaning the country of this dependency and lay emphasis on gas (especially with the declaration of the decade for gas in Nigeria by the federal government), we believe speakers at the lecture can provide a guide to achieve this objective, especially as more oil and gas are being discovered in countries in Africa.

“And at a time the integration of the African market through the AfCFTA has begun and emphasis is shifting to sustainable renewable energy resources,’’ she said.

Chigbo, who is also President of the Guild of Corporate Online Publishers (GOCOP), said that the lecture was also an opportunity to discuss Africa’s economic development, especially against the background of ongoing debate on the AfCFTA, whose implementation began in January 2021.

The hybrid programme was attended by dignitaries from across the country while others joined via zoom from the United States, South Korea and other parts of the world.


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