By Emmanuel Afonne
Mr Olalekan Ogunleye, Managing Director, Gas Aggregation Company Nigeria Limited (GACN), has said that the company was working towards ensuring Nigeria becomes a gas industrialised nation.
Ogunleye said this when the management of GACN paid a courtesy visit on Mr Buki Ponle, Managing Director (MD) of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), in Abuja on Thursday.
The visit was to seek NAN’s collaboration on information dissemination of the company’s activities toward achieving increased gas utilisation in the country.
Ogunleye, represented by Mr Chijioke Uzoho, Commercial Manager, GACN, said the company was also working to put the gas consumption to national use.
“We are into natural gas, Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) or Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), and natural gas drives industrialisation; you must have heard about the Escravos in Lagos and the industrialisation in Lagos and Ogun.
“Industries in those states are tracking the Escravos pipeline because that is where they source their energy and electricity to meet their industrial requirements.
“Critical to us is the national industrialisation using gas, and Nigeria has been described as a gas nation.
“Before 2010, most of the projects were export focused, so the initiative of GACN is to be able to catalyse the utilisation of gas in-country, to be able to drive industries, and things that come from it including employment,” Ogunleye said.
According to him, stakeholders’ summits have been designed with the South East taking the first shot, to sensitise the zone on the benefits accruing from natural gas.
“The first stakeholders’ gas forum we organised was in the South East where we brought the governors, the industries, business moguls in major cities in the South East, as well as the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN).
“We also brought the supplier of the gas so that we can find a solution to the energy needs or the gas requirements for these end users; it was a successful forum, because the NNPC GMD and the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources participated.
“So, this year, we are replicating the same in the North on July 29 in Kano, and we have tagged it the AKK Forum, (Ajaokuta, Kaduna, Kano pipeline).
“Hopefully, the president will be there and the governors of the AKK Pipeline surrounding states – Nasarawa, Kogi, Kano, Kaduna, and Abuja will be there.
“Not everybody knows what this pipeline has been designed for. So, this is a sensitisation for the region for them to know that this pipeline is coming, and that it is coming with a massive amount of gas.
“The gas pipeline will be able to industrialise that area, but for the people to start to build industries based on gas utilisation, we need to let them know that this is available and that the gas is coming,” he added.
Ogunleye noted that Nigeria had not been able to utilise its gas resources the way it ought to be but that the stability in products like fertiliser engineered through gas, was a sign of a benefitting gas future in the country.
“In achieving our target, we have stakeholders from the upstream and we try to put the gas in the market for off-takers, so we are like a one-stop shop to the extent that if an entity needs gas, all they need do is to come to us and tap into the process.”
Responding, the MD of NAN, represented by the Editor-in-Chief, Mr Silas Nwoha, assured the company of the Agency’s readiness to ensure it achieved its target.
Ponle said NAN had been serving the country since 1978 and would not hesitate to extend its services to the gas company to ensure the country achieved its gas industrialisation target.
“We have been partnering with agencies and organisations to achieve their mandate and yours will not be different.
“We know what to do and we will always do that to project your organisation through our various news platforms including the website and multimedia.(NAN)