The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) says it is expanding and integrating gas pipeline network systems to meet the unprecedented domestic gas demand nationwide.
The corporation said it had also put strategies in place to guarantee seamless nationwide supply and distribution of petroleum products.
Mr Mele Kyari, Group Managing Director, NNPC, made the disclosure on Tuesday while speaking at the NNPC Day in the ongoing 2019 Lagos International Trade Fair.
Over 2000 foreign and local exhibitors are participating in the 33rd Edition of the fair taking place at the Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS) in Lagos.
Kyari, represented by Mrs Kate Iheme, Managing Director, National Engineering and Technical Company (NETCO), said the NNPC stands out as the chief enabler of the Nigerian economy.
He said under its ongoing reforms, the NNPC was transforming from a traditional oil and gas entity into an integrated energy outfit with interest in power generation and transmission.
According to him, the decision to diversify into the power sector is hinged on the need to bridge the huge energy gap in the Nigerian market.
Kyari said: ”It is common knowledge that NNPC is expanding and integrating gas pipeline network systems to meet the unprecedented domestic gas demand nationwide.
“Towards this end, significant progress has been recorded in the execution of some key on-going gas pipeline infrastructure projects like the Escravos Lagos Pipelines System (ELPs II) and the 0B3, among other gas infrastructure projects.
“Before now, the corporation had also completed the repair of the vandalised 20-inch ELPS-A pipeline, thereby ensuring gas supply to gas-fired power plants and also supply into the West African Gas Pipeline.”
He said the NNPC had also increased supply of gas to industries to keep then running, thereby guaranteeing the employment of workers and impacting positively the economy of the nation.
Kyari added that the NNPC downstream entities namely: the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC), the Nigerian Pipelines and Storage Company (NPSC), NNPC Retail and NNPC Shipping, had also enhanced petroleum products supply and distribution.
“The result is a sanitised fuel supply and distribution network which has thus far banished the ugly episodes of petroleum products scarcity and snaky fuel queues across the country.
“With reliable fuel supply system emplaced, commuters, businesses, transporters and other stakeholders can now engage in fruitful commercial endeavours without the perennial monster of fuel scarcity.
“This in no small way shows how the corporation enables business activities in the country,” he said.
The NNPC boss commended the promoters of the fair, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) for providing businesses the opportunities to showcase their products and services.
He said: “I appreciate the chamber for the wonderful exposure it has offered NNPC year after year.
“This has, in no small way, assisted our numerous clienteles to have a better understanding of our successes and challenges, even as we are committed to improving our efficiency as a National Oil Company.”
Earlier, Mr Babatunde Ruwase, President, LCCI, said the oil and gas sector play a vital role in the Nigerian economy as it contributes 65 per cent of government’s revenue and 88 per cent of the foreign exchange earnings.
Ruwase, represented by Mrs Toki Mabogunje, Deputy President, LCCI said the industry provides petroleum products for over 200 million inhabitants of Nigeria to meet their needs.
He said: “Nevertheless, we must rejig the oil and gas sector to make it globally competitive.
“Protracted delay in the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) and weak commitment to the reform of the oil and gas sector continue to stifle investment in the upstream and downstream segments of the oil and gas sector.
“Enabling reforms are necessary to put an end to the protracted problem of petroleum subsidy and the phenomenon of under recovery that currently imposes huge burden on government finances.”
The LCCI president, therefore, emphasised that it was imperative to implement necessary oil and gas sector reforms to unlock the vast potential in the sector for investment, jobs, revenue, backward integration and economic diversification.